Last Updated on September 18, 2023 by Kimberlee Johnson
In Australia, where kangaroos and koalas live, most people don’t celebrate Thanksgiving like Americans. But one special place in the country observes this special holiday.
But which is the only place in Australia that celebrates Thanksgiving? While traveling in Australia, I found this special spot where they celebrate Thanksgiving, just like in America.
They serve turkey and cranberry sauce, which is something Americans usually eat on Thanksgiving.
With that, I’ll take you on a journey to the only spot in Australia where you can experience the warmth of a Thanksgiving celebration, making you feel right at home, even thousands of miles away. Keep reading.
What Place In Australia Is The Only One That Celebrates Thanksgiving?
Norfolk Island is the sole place in Australia where Thanksgiving Day is celebrated. This unique tradition belongs to the American whaling ships that regularly visited the island in the late 1800s.
“Thanksgiving just gets me all warm and tingly and all kinds of wonderful inside.”– Willard Scott, American Weathercaster
These ships brought their seafaring expertise and the cherished American holiday of Thanksgiving.
Over time, this practice has taken root on Norfolk Island, making it the exclusive spot in Australia where you can partake in the festivities of this special American holiday.
Do Australians Celebrate Thanksgiving?
Australians, as a whole, do not traditionally celebrate Thanksgiving. This is not surprising, considering the geographical distance that separates Australia from the United States.
However, there is an exception to this norm – Norfolk Island. Initially celebrated by American whalers during the late 1800s, Thanksgiving has found a home on Norfolk Island.
While not a widespread practice throughout Australia, some other parts have also recognized and embraced this holiday, although it has yet to become a mainstream part of their annual celebrations.
Why Is Thanksgiving Celebrated On One Island In Australia?
The reason why Thanksgiving is celebrated on one island in Australia is because of homesickness.
In the 1800s, American whaling vessel sailors made frequent stops on the island.
And because of longing, these sailors’ tales of Thanksgiving celebrations inspired Robinson to bring a taste of this American tradition to Norfolk Island.
To recreate the festivities, he and three companions adorned the All Saints church with palm leaves, lemons, and local produce, marking the island’s first Thanksgiving celebration.
“While Thanksgiving may not be a nationwide affair in Australia, Norfolk Island stands alone as the faithful steward of this cherished holiday.”– Howkapow Gift Site
Besides, the influence of American wives who accompanied whalers extended further, introducing the islanders to American baking.
What Do Australians Eat At Thanksgiving?
1. Traditional Roast Turkey With Gravy & Cranberry Sauce
The show’s star is undoubtedly the traditional roast turkey at an Australian Thanksgiving table.
This centerpiece dish embodies the essence of Thanksgiving with its succulent, golden-brown skin and tender, juicy meat.
What elevates this dish is the rich, velvety gravy that drapes over each slice, imparting a savory depth of flavor.
The sweet and tangy cranberry sauce  provides the perfect counterbalance, creating a symphony of taste that captures the essence of Thanksgiving’s warmth and tradition.
2. Green Beans With Walnuts
Green beans with walnuts are a delightful Thanksgiving side dish that adds a crunch. Fresh green beans are blanched to preserve their vibrant color and crisp texture.
They are then sautéed with butter and toasted walnuts, creating a harmonious combination of nuttiness and freshness.
Adding walnuts not only imparts a satisfying crunch but also introduces a delightful earthy flavor that complements the other savory elements of the feast.
3. Cauliflower Cheese
Cauliflower cheese is a comforting and indulgent side dish that graces the Thanksgiving table in Australia.
Tender cauliflower florets are enveloped in a luscious, creamy cheese sauce that oozes richly.
The dish is baked to golden perfection, creating a delectable contrast between the creamy interior and the slightly crispy top. But what do the Chinese eat during Thanksgiving?
4. Roast Potatoes
A Thanksgiving feast is complete with a generous serving of roast potatoes.
These crispy, golden spuds are a holiday staple and provide a satisfying, savory component to the meal.
Potatoes are typically parboiled, then roasted in hot oil or butter until they develop a crunchy exterior and a fluffy interior.
5. Pumpkin Pie
Australians often indulge in the iconic pumpkin pie to round off the Thanksgiving meal on a sweet note.
This dessert features a velvety-smooth filling made from roasted or pureed pumpkin, subtly spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg , and cloves.
The filling is nestled in a flaky, buttery pastry crust, creating a harmonious blend of flavors and textures.
What holidays do Australians only celebrate?
Australians primarily celebrate their National Public Holidays, which include Good Friday, Easter Monday, Anzac Day, New Year’s Day, Australia Day, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day.
Additional public holidays like King’s Birthday and Labour Day are determined individually by state and territory governments.
What are the four countries that celebrate Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving is celebrated in various countries, such as the United States, Canada, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Liberia.
This holiday is also observed in three other countries, Brazil, the Philippines, and the Dutch town of Leiden.
To Sum It Up
Norfolk Island is the singular place in Australia where Thanksgiving is celebrated, thanks to its fascinating historical ties with American whaling ships in the late 1800s.
While most Australians do not observe this American holiday due to the vast geographical distance between the two nations, Norfolk Island has embraced Thanksgiving as its tradition.
This island’s unique connection to Thanksgiving is a testament to the enduring impact of cultural exchange and the sharing of traditions across borders.
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