Thanksgiving in Cape Town and the Western Cape

The lowdown on what to do this Turkey Day in Cape Town

While Thanksgiving is historically, a religious and cultural tradition primarily celebrated in North America – the United States and Canada, there’s no reason not to hop on the bandwagon and give thanks – big-bird style –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 have happened as far back as 1621 in an area that’s now identified as Massachusetts, and was instated to commemorate and give thanks to the good harvest and the Native Americans who aided the colonists in finding and growing food.

The first American nationwide Thanksgiving celebration took place on Thursday, 26 November 1789, when President George Washington declared the nation give thanks for winning its independence.

These days, 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.

This year Thanksgiving falls on the Thursday, 28 November 2013, and while not everyone in South Africa will be roasting turkeys, we’re sure there are many expats who are looking for a little taste – and a dollop of cranberry sauce – of home.

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Find out where to wine and dine this Turkey Day with our guide to Thanksgiving Dinner in Cape Town.

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