How to celebrate Thanksgiving in Norway

1. Remember that you are not in the US. People here don’t particularly care that hundreds of years ago Native Americans and pilgrims sat down for a meal together. Coming to terms with the fact that Thanksgiving is just another weekday makes it easier to enjoy your makeshift celebration. There’s no football game on TV and no Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but a cozy home, friends and a big turkey feast are all you really need.

2. Learn how to make pumpkin pie. It’s a staple of autumn in the US and fortunately it’s not too hard to find pumpkin puree or pie mix here.

3. Make Thanksgiving Day interesting. Sure, it’s just an average Thursday in Oslo, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play hooky for few hours to meetup with some fellow American expats and share your favorite Thanksgiving memories.

4. Globalize turkey day. We’ve invited some Italian friends who have never celebrated Thanksgiving to join us this weekend when we tuck into a feast. I’m excited to hear how they feel about the American traditions that make up the holiday.

5. Find your local American eatery. Oslo’s Café Fedora, an American restaurant, is hosting a Thanksgiving buffet on Sunday at one of their locations. This restaurant has turned the American population here into a family so just like back home, you’re bound to see people you like, don’t like or had forgotten about. And just like mom, the restaurant takes requests for your favorite items for their buffet.

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29 thoughts on “How to celebrate Thanksgiving in Norway

  1. We did the same thing here in Ha Noi for Canadian Thanksgiving 🙂 Definately was confusing to everyone as we tried to make no-bake pumpkin pie. Ovens don’t really seem to exist here.
    Maybe we will celebrate the American one as well.

  2. People outside of the US generally don’t particularly care if it’s Thanksgiving…same situation here in Australia. My partner is American, though, and I love love LOVE pumpkin pie – two excellent reasons why we hunted down an American restaurant serving a traditional Thanksgiving feast for tomorrow. Happy feasting!

    • This is my first official Thanksgiving in Norway (last year I barely noticed it because it was right after I moved here and things were still pretty crazy) and I’ve requested cornbread. I’ll find out Sunday if they have it… cross your fingers.

  3. Great tips! I have learned that while Norwegians often shun certain American holidays, they actually think Thanksgiving is quite cool. I have some Norwegian friends who are actually throwing their own huge Thanksgiving feast (with turkey and all) this weekend because they think the meaning of the holiday is great. I am not in the country so I won’t go, but they had planned it even prior to me meeting them (all are from Norway). And even the first year I had met my boyfriend and before we started dating, I invited him to the US for Thanksgiving and he bought a ticket and came because he said he thought it was the coolest American holiday from what he had seen in movies and heard. He said a lot of his friends were so curious about his American Thanksgiving experience 🙂 (which sadly with my family means lots of beer and football…oh yea, and food).

    It is great that Oslo is international enough to offer a piece of the holiday to expats. I have learned to just throw your own party and invite the Norwegians…they’ll definitely want to come and celebrate a piece of your culture since you spend a lot of time adapting to theirs 🙂 It is cool you are able to share the holiday with Italians 🙂

    • It’s definitely a good place to be in to celebrate American holidays, I was surprised when I easily found pumpkin pie mix! I wonder if there will be many Norwegians at Cafe Fedora on Sunday. While living here I like to celebrate the holidays that we have in common the way the locals do, but its nice to invite Norwegians to experience an American tradition.

      Have a good Thanksgiving!

  4. Good tips! I’m doing Thanksgiving for my friends here in Barcelona this weekend. Last year, it went over pretty well – I just did on on a Saturday instead of a Thursday. Everyone liked hearing about the traditions and loved the food. We also had plenty of wine, which I’m sure didn’t hurt either! The idea of being thankful and sharing good food with people you love is pretty much always a nice one, no matter where you are.

    Have a very happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Ciao Saleha,
    me and Marco are very happy to celebrate Thanksgiving with you, Faisal and Mazen.
    I arrived in Norway two years ago and I know what it means to be far far way while your family and friends are celebrating back home.
    We try as well to keep up our little traditions here at “edge of the artic” (which usually involves trying to cook some special dish just like Mamma does).
    We don’t know much about Thanksgiving traditions, apart from what we learned from the Hollywood movies…so we are looking forward to it…..and the famous Turkey!
    Chiara

  6. I love idea #4 especially! I have a friend here in the U.S. who works at a large state university. Every Thanksgiving she invites a lot of her international students to her house for a traditional U.S. Thanksgiving dinner. Sounds like fun to me! 🙂

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