Thanksgiving in Cape Town & the Western Cape

We’ve got the (not-so) skinny on what the deal is with Turkey Day in the Mother City!

Thanksgiving is, historically, a religious and cultural tradition primarily celebrated in North America – the United States and Canada – but there’s little reason not to hop on the big bird bandwagon and give thanks in South Africa.

Celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November (and the second Monday in October for Canadians), Turkey Day (as it’s commonly known) is unquestionably the most gluttonous North American holiday and, quite understandably, has its roots in harvest festivals.

Specifically, the first Thanksgiving is said to date as far back as 1621 in a British colony that’s now identified as Massachusetts, and the holiday was instated to commemorate and give thanks to the good harvest and the Native Americans who aided the colonists in sourcing and growing food.

Though, the first official nationwide American Thanksgiving celebration took place on Thursday, 26 November 1789, when President George Washington declared that the entire country give thanks for winning its independence from Britain.

Fast forward to the present and this initially humble get-together has taken on a life of its own. The grand affair takes the form of an all out feast, with a roasted, smoked, deep-fried (oh, yes) or grilled turkey as the main attraction. Other typical trimmings include sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry relish, green beans and gravy and so much more!

This year the appreciative holiday falls on Thursday, 26 November 2015, and while not everyone in South Africa will be roasting turkeys, we wish the many expats a bountiful feast with a dollop of cranberry sauce and a taste of home in sunny Mzansi.

If you’re not cooking up a storm for Thanksgiving in Cape Town and are on the lookout for where to wine and dine, check out our guide to Thanksgiving Dinner in Cape Town.

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Have a squiz at our guide to annual November events to find out about more hot happenings taking place during the month.
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Check out our events section for an up-to-date overview of happenings in Cape Town. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and if you have a smartphone, add m.capetownmagazine.com to your home screen for quick access on the go!

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