How The Nation Of Liberia Has Adopted Thanksgiving

While Thanksgiving is generally thought of as an exclusively American holiday due to the history of the Mayflower arriving in Plymouth Rock being associated with it, it is not the only country in the world that celebrates the holiday. Five countries celebrate Thanksgiving, including the West African nation of Liberia. 

Liberia has a history much different from many of its neighbors in West Africa. The country was actually founded by freed American slaves in a deal supported by James Monroe, the 5th U.S president. Asa result, the nation’s foundation involves a government and many democratic principles that are reminiscent of the United States. Cultures and customs from America were also taken with them to Liberia, including the adoption of the Thanksgiving holiday in the country.
Although Thanksgiving in Liberia is based on the American version of the holiday, it does have its unique twists and cultural traditions associated with the holiday that is specific to Liberia. For example, the holiday is celebrated on the first Thursday of November rather than the last and celebrates Liberia’s foundation (not America’s foundation)and its own unique history as a free country founded in 1822. Similar to American thanksgiving, Liberian thanksgiving does place an emphasis on family, and will often feature dancing and partying on the holiday.
Thanksgiving is of course known for its food, and Liberia also makes sure to go all-out on food in their own rendition of the holiday. While in America mashed potatoes and turkey are the staples of Thanksgiving dinner, Liberian plates on the holiday typically consist of more common food to West Africa, such as roasted chicken, mashed cassavas, and Monrovian collard greens.