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Thanksgiving in Chinese:Full Guide to Celebrate

Thanksgiving in Chinese: What is Thanksgiving Day in China?

Thanksgiving in Chinese:Full Guide to Celebrate - WuKong Blog

Thanksgiving Day is a celebration of bounties you’re enjoying. Whether you celebrate it or not, it reminds us of how grateful we are for what we have. No one should underestimate the power of gratitude and giving thanks! Thanksgiving in Chinese is called 感恩节(ɡǎn ēn jié). You can separate “感恩” and “节” phrases to get yourself better understand. 

  • “感谢” means “to thank, to be grateful for…”
  • “恩” refers to favor

Thanksgiving Day is a day for families to get together for a big “turkey” meal. “Turkey Day” is also a colloquial used for Thanksgiving Day because millions of turkeys are eaten on this day. Thanksgiving day was celebrated on 28th November in 2023.

Thanksgiving in Chinese: Mandarin Word List

Thanksgiving in Chinese:Full Guide to Celebrate - WuKong Blog

There are plenty more words that you should know before and after the feast.

  • huǒ jī 火鸡= turkey
  • ròuzhī 肉汁= gravy
  • yùmǐ 玉米= corn 
  • kǎo hóngshǔ ní 烤红薯泥= sweet potato casserole 
  • tǔdòu ní 土豆泥= mashed potatoes 
  • hóng méi jiàng = cranberry sauce 红莓酱
  • nánguā pài 南瓜派= pumpkin pie

Sentences that you might need to use after the feast:

  • nǐ huì kàn zúqiú bǐsài ma? 你会看足球比赛吗?= Will you be watching the football game?
  • měishì zúqiú bǐsài 美式足球比赛。= American football match
  • wǒ zǒng shì hé jiārén yīqǐ guānkàn yóuxíng 我总是和家人一起观看游行。= I always watch the Thanksgiving parade with my family

Thanksgiving in Chinese: Sentences for Conversation 

Thanksgiving in Chinese:Full Guide to Celebrate - WuKong Blog

Before you start celebrating, let’s learn how to talk about Thanksgiving Day in Mandarin:

Gǎn’ēn jié is the Chinese word for Thanksgiving Day. 

  • 感恩节 (gǎn’ēn jié) = 感恩 to feel gratitude, to feel thankful + 节 holiday

Chinese friends can ask you: 

nǐ zěnme qìngzhù gǎn’ēn jié 你怎么庆祝感恩节?= How will you celebrate Thanksgiving?

You can say:

  • wǒ yào hé jiārén péngyǒu tuánjù 我要和家人朋友团聚= I’m going to spend time with my family and friends. 

Some other expressions of Thanksgiving in Chinese are:

  • nǐ xǐhuān chī… ma? 你喜欢吃…吗?= Do you like to eat …?
  • nǐ yào bùyào…? 你要不要…?= Would you like some …?
  • qǐng bǎ… dì gěi wǒ, hǎo ma? 请把…递给我,好吗?= Could you please pass the …?

Celebrate Thanksgiving in China with Essential Words for Holiday 

Thanksgiving Day is widely celebrated in the US and Canada. “gǎn ēn jié” is a Chinese word for Thanksgiving day, which means “to feel thankful” + “holiday.” 

Learn five essential Chinese words and make this opportunity worth it.

Turkey 火鸡 (huǒ jī)

Turkey is the most popular Thanksgiving food. 

Fire (火) + chicken (鸡) = Turkey (火鸡)

In literal meaning, it is fire chicken. It shows how red flap skin under turkeys’ chins looks like fire. 火雞 is the traditional form.

Corn 玉米 (yù mǐ)

Yellow or white are common, but it can also be a multicolored bundle. You can ground it and use it for sauces as a thickening agent. According to Cornell University’s catalog, it can have 259 varieties. 

Jade (玉) + rice (米) = Corn (玉米)  (jade rice in literal meaning)

Corn was considered as precious as jade when first imported to China. Cornbread is quite often served for a Thanksgiving dinner. 

To gobble 大吃 (dà chī)

Dating back to 1621, probably no one knows what was served on Thanksgiving day. To gobble is to eat without restraint on Thanksgiving in Chinese

Big (大) + eat (吃) = To gobble/eat without restraint (大吃)

Home/Family 家( jiā)

The place called home is something which is everyone’s need. “Home” or “family,” is made with the roof radical 宀 and the building block pig 豕. People kept pigs inside their homes in ancient China to keep them safe. It was considered as an act of having a bountiful home.

Family member 家人 (jiā rén)

Having a family is a great blessing. 

Home/family (家) + person (人) = Family member (家人)

Happy Thanksgiving day in Chinese language with your family members. Enjoy the blessings of God with your family and enjoy the feast!

Are you ready to Say Thanksgiving in Chinese?

Thanksgiving in Chinese:Full Guide to Celebrate - WuKong Blog

So, if you are asked on Thanksgiving Day about what foods you are going to plan, you can answer that you’ll have turkey and pumpkin. You have learned how to say these words. Here is the recap of Turkey and Corn with three more foods in Chinese:

  • Turkey — 火鸡 (huǒjī)
  • Pumpkin — 南瓜 (nánɡuā)
  • Corn — 玉米 (yùmǐ)
  • Wine — 酒 (jiǔ)
  • Grape wine — 葡萄酒 (pútáojiǔ)

More vocabulary for Thanksgiving-related events is:

  • (赦免火鸡) shèmiǎn huǒ jī, Turkey pardoning
  • (梅西感恩节大游行)
Méi xī gǎn ēn jié dà yóuxíng, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
  • (感恩节大餐) gǎn’ēn jié dà cān, Thanksgiving dinner
  • (黑色星期五)
hēisè xīngqíwǔ, Black Friday

  • (网路星期一)
wǎng lù xīngqí yī, Cyber Monday

So, how will you wish Thanksgiving to your friends, family, or colleagues?

  • unticked感恩节快乐 (Gǎnēnjié kuàilè)!
  • unticked圣诞节快乐 (Shèngdànjié kuàilè)!
  • unticked中秋节快乐 (Zhōngqiūjié kuàilè)!
  • unticked情人节快乐 (Qíngrénjié kuàilè)!


Thanksgiving in Chinese is becoming popular creating an opportunity for both North American and Chinese cultures to connect. Although the festivities of Thanksgiving day aren’t as big as Christmas or the Chinese New Year, nonetheless, this is an amazing opportunity to celebrate and give thanks. 

Happy Thanksgiving shouldn’t be a worry to say to your Chinese friends. You can use described words and expressions to talk about Thanksgiving day with Chinese friends and workers; they will likely appreciate the gesture.

This special day is an opportunity to learn beyond words for Thanksgiving day. You should learn scrumptious Thanksgiving dishes and other words in Chinese. Celebrate this Thanksgiving day with your Chinese friends using before and after the feast words!


What is another name for Thanksgiving Day?

Turkey is the most common main dish on Thanksgiving day. That is why, “Turkey Day” is another name for the festival. According to an estimation, over 50 million turkeys were eaten on Thanksgiving day in 2014. Thanksgiving in Chinese is now getting wider. Finding turkeys in China is difficult, however, you can find them in big cities such as Shanghai and Beijing. International hotels and restaurants deliver roasted turkey.

How is Thanksgiving Day becoming popular in China?

In the US, the fourth Thursday of November is the date of Thanksgiving Day. While the second Monday of October is for Canada. Many American and Canadian expats have Thanksgiving feast in China. They invite their local friends, classmates, or workmates to join in these festivities. This is making Thanksgiving popular in China.

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