Norfolk Island, although an Australian territory, celebrates an American-inspired Thanksgiving as a public holiday. This may seem odd, but it’s just one more example of how the folk or Norfolk incorporate elements of other cultures. For example, they even have their own dialect of English, called “Norfuk English”, which includes a heavy mixture of Tahitian.
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In was during the 1890s that American resident of Norfolk Island, Isaac Robinson, introduced Thanksgiving Day to the locals. He was on the island for trade purposes and became the US consul. He led the locals in decorating the All Saints Church building with fruits and vegetation and in adopting the Thanksgiving feast tradition.
People still gather at that same church, in Kingston, today to pile fresh produce in the aisles, sing and worship, and express their thankfulness to God. They have potluck feasts at church or a meal at home too, including pumpkin pie for dessert.
However, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Wednesday of November in Norfolk Island instead of on the fourth Thursday. And it comes in the spring instead of the fall due to Norfolk’s location in the Southern Hemisphere.
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