Thanksgiving in Liberia

Staff Writer
Thanksgiving is an important holiday for this West African country

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Liberians celebrate Thanksgiving with dancing and music.

Thanksgiving isn’t always held on the last Thursday in November, nor is it only celebrated with a turkey. Take Thanksgiving in Liberia, for example.

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Liberia is a country in West Africa that was founded by freed American and Caribbean slaves in the early 19th century. Today, the founding slaves’ descendants only make up about 5 percent of the country’s current population, but several traditions that they imported from the States, Thanksgiving included, are celebrated to this day.

Liberians celebrate Thanksgiving on the first Thursday of November. It’s generally considered to be a day for Liberians to give thanks for freedom and the founding of their country. Like in the States, people gather for a special meal, as well as concerts and dancing.

As far as their traditional Thanksgiving menu goes, Liberians have adapted the meal to the tastes of the region by serving dishes like roasted chicken, mashed cassavas, and green bean casserole. Some folks even add a little extra spice to their meal with peppers like cayenne.

Want to add some Liberian flavor to your next meal, Thanksgiving or otherwise? Check out these recipes including Monrovian collards and cabbage, sweet potato pone, and ginger beer.

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