There are many ways of saying gracias, thus, celebrating a Latinx Thanksgiving. If you didn’t know already, Latin America does not celebrate this festivity but still holds a lot of encounters where being grateful is the main character. Therefore, Latinxs living in the US have brought their own traditions, and, at the same time, built their own here. Isn’t it beautiful? Discovering many ways of saying gracias while celebrating cultural exchange?

If you are a curious mind looking for new flavors and rituals to bring to your Thanksgiving table, here are 5 Latinx ways that infuse this celebration with profound meaning, gratitude, and a sense of togetherness.

1. Create A Vibrant Atmosphere

The Latinx culture is recognized for its welcoming and energetic environment, especially during holidays. Thanksgiving is no different. Latinx families frequently imbue their homes with a sense of excitement and festivity, from vivid décor to lively music. Colorful table decorations and festive décor contribute to an environment that radiates positivity and gratitude.

How can you make it happen? Build a music playlist with your family or friends, include colorful decorations at the table, look for delicious-smelling candles, and light them up around the house. 

Did you know…? Latinx celebrations are incomplete without music and dance. Thanksgiving often includes lively tunes and spontaneous dance sessions, creating an atmosphere of joy and camaraderie. Whether traditional Latin music or a mix of genres, the rhythmic beats contribute to the overall sense of togetherness and celebration.

2. Traditional Latinx Thanksgiving Dishes

Most Latinx families add to the traditional Thanksgiving table dishes that reflect where they come from. The saying gracias feast becomes a combination of flavors that pays homage to Latin American culinary heritage, from tamales to arroz con gandules. These meals not only give a tasty touch to the meal, but they also serve as a means of passing down traditional recipes from one generation to the next.

3. Write Down What You Are Grateful For

Latinx families frequently participate in a gratitude circle, an emotional ritual in which each member expresses their gratitude. 

How can you make it at home? You can all write on a piece of paper what things you are grateful for and mix it in a bowl. Each family member can take a piece and read it out loud. 

This custom promotes family connection and appreciation for the blessings that are shared. It goes beyond the material, highlighting the significance of connections, experiences, and shared moments.

4. Storytelling Time: Keeping The Memory Alive

Thanksgiving becomes a time for Latinx families to exchange ancestor stories and cultural practices. Elders frequently take center stage, telling stories of resilience, legacy, and the necessity of preserving cultural identity. This ritual connects newer generations to their roots and instills pride in their Latinx ancestry.

It is a beautiful way of keeping the memory of your family and ancestors alive, but also a warm moment to gather around and share what has marked you this year that is passing by and what inspired you to face the next. 

5. Community Involvement

Our community often extends the Thanksgiving celebrations beyond the family circle. Volunteering, organizing community events, or inviting neighbors to join in the festivities are common practices. This spirit of inclusivity aligns with the Latinx value of communal support and emphasizes the importance of giving back and, at the same time, being grateful for what you have. 

Thanksgiving is around the corner and we bet there are a lot of things to be grateful for! By adopting and learning Latinx rituals, we not only recognize our diversity but also deepen the ties that make this holiday genuinely unique and inclusive.

From COCINA, we invite you to pick at least one or two of these rituals and bring them to your Thanksgiving table! Let us know how it works for you!

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