By Chesney Hearst, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – This year on Thursday, November 22th, Americans abroad in Rio, and Brazilians eager to learn about the American holiday, will enjoy Thanksgiving. While many expatriates find the fixin’s to put on a full scale dinner at home, others will be heading to a handful of eateries offering the traditional holiday favorites.
“People really do want to celebrate [American] Thanksgiving. It’s a strong part of our culture,” say Sam Flowers, owner and American expatriate.
This year the menu includes, a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, with roasted turkey, homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, cranberry sauce and a pumpkin pie made from scratch with pumpkins from the local vegetable market. “It’s all homemade, all made from here,” says Flowers.
He added that more and more Brazilians are becoming interested in the American holiday and attending Thanksgiving dinner at the restaurant. “Absolutely that portion [of Cariocas] grows more each year,”says Flowers.
At the Gringo Café on Thanksgiving Day reservations are required, and at the time of writing, open tables remain for 6PM, 10:30 PM and 11PM. Fortunately the holiday menu will be offered throughout the weekend, for those who can’t make it on Thursday.
Perhaps the biggest community event in Rio will be The American Society of Rio de Janeiro (AmSoc Rio) hosting its annual Thanksgiving Celebration on Sunday, November 25th at 1PM in the Fellowship Hall at Av. Prefeito Dulcídio Cardoso, 4351 in Barra da Tijuca.
“The bill of fare will include the traditional favorites, roast turkey and baked ham, stuffing, mashed and sweet potatoes and real gravy. And, of course we’ll have real cranberry sauce brought direct from the [United States].” explains their web page.
It was On October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued his Thanksgiving Proclamation making the day an annual U.S. national holiday, saying: “I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving…”
The first Thanksgiving in the United States took place during the fall of 1621 when Pilgrims broke bread with Native Americans to celebrate a successful harvest and give thanks for their abundant lives. In Rio de Janeiro this year, expatriates and Brazilians alike will carry on that tradition and give thanks.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving from The Rio Times.