Languages › Spanish Celebrating Thanksgiving in Spanish Words for the holiday Share Flipboard Email Print Un pavo asado. (A roast turkey.). Tim Sackton / Creative Commons. Spanish Vocabulary History & Culture Pronunciation Writing Skills Grammar By Gerald Erichsen Spanish Language Expert B.A., Seattle Pacific University Gerald Erichsen is a Spanish language expert who has created Spanish lessons for ThoughtCo since 1998. our editorial process Gerald Erichsen Updated October 21, 2019 Prepare to speak Spanish on Thanksgiving by learning these words. Many of these words don't have much of a cultural context outside the U.S. and Canada, which celebrates its Thanksgiving in October, as no Spanish-speaking countries have a version of Thanksgiving. The phrase for Thanksgiving, by the way, is Día de Acción de Gracias. That's a mouthful that could be translated literally as the "day of the act of thanks." The French form is similar—the Canadian Thanksgiving is known as l'Action de Grâce. Holiday-Related Words agradecido (por)—thankful (for)ciberlunes—Cyber Mondayla colonia—colonycompartir, repartir—to shareel cuerno de la abundancia, la cornucopia—cornucopiael desfile—paradeDios—Godla familia—familyla festividad de la cosecha—harvest festivalel fútbol americano—football (not soccer)gluglú gluglú—gobble gobble (turkey sound)las gracias—thanksel indio, la india, el indígena americano, la indígena americana—American Indian, native Americanel noviembre —Novemberel otoño—autumn, falllos parientes—relativesel peregrino—pilgrimel viernes negro, el viernes de descuentos—Black Friday Food-Related Words Keep in mind that names of foods don't necessarily translate well, or might not be understood in Spanish-speaking countries, due to cultural differences. For example, the various words that can be translated as "pie" include pastel, tarta, empanada, and even pay (pronounced similarly to the English word). All of those words except the last also refer to other types of desserts.Also, it is common with fruits and vegetables for a popular name to be applied to multiple botanical classifications. For example, there are at least eight species of tuberous plants called ñames (yams), and a few are unlike what you might find in the U.S. el arándano rojo—cranberryel banquete—feastel budín, el pudín—puddingla cazuela—casserolela cena—dinnercomer—to eatla cucurbitácea, la calabaza —squash (the same Spanish terms also are used for other related plants)el maíz—cornla mazorca de maíz—corn on the cobel ñame, la batata, el boniato—yamel panecillo—dinner rollel pastel (o la tarta) de calabaza—pumpkin pieel pavo—turkeyel pavo asado—roast turkeyel puré de patatas—mashed potatoesel relleno—stuffing, turkey dressingla salsa para carne—gravylas sobras, los restos—leftoverslas verduras—vegetables Vocabulary Notes Ñame, the word for "yam" is one of the few Spanish words to start with ñ. Among the more common ones are ñoño (insipid or dull) and words derived from it, ñora (red pepper), and ñu (gnu). Panecillo shows how diminutive suffixes are used. Pan is the word for bread, so even if you didn't know what panecillo means, you might guess that it is a small type of bread. In Spanish, it is sometimes possible to distinguish between male and female animals by using the masculine and feminine forms of the word. Thus a female turkey is una pava. Some other animal names follow a similar pattern: Una mona is a female monkey, una polla is a young hen (and also an off-color word with a different meaning), and una puerca is a sow. But don't assume that any feminine animal name refers to the feminine of the species. For example, una jirafa is a giraffe regardless of its sex. While relleno would normally be used to refer to turkey stuffing, the same word can be used for just about any type of food filling. A stuffed chili, for example, is known as a chile relleno. While verduras is the word to use when talking about vegetables as a food, vegetales is used more often when talking about vegetables as a type of plant. Sample Sentences Los indios de la tribu de los Wampanoag enseñaron a los peregrinos cómo sembrar maíz. (The Indians of the Wampanoag tribe taught the pilgrims how to plant corn.) Generalmente el Día de Acción de Gracia coincide con el último jueves de noviembre, pero algunas veces es el antepenúltimo. (Generally Thanksgiving is on the last Thursday of November, but sometimes it is on the next-to-last Thursday.) El Día de Acción de Gracias se celebra el segundo lunes de octubre en Canadá. (Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada.) No es difícil prepara un pavo exquisito para celebrar el día con tus amigos y familiares. (It isn't difficult to prepare a delicious turkey for celebrating the day with your friends and family members.) El tradicional desfile de Macy’s que se realiza en Nueva York. (The traditional Macy's parade takes place in New York.) Después de la cena, vamos a ver un juego de fútbol americano. (After dinner, we'll watch a football game.) Tenemos mucha gratitud por todo lo que tenemos. (We're grateful for everything we have.) Key Takeaways No Spanish-speaking country has a version of Thanksgiving, so native Spanish speakers in those countries may have little cultural context when dealing with Thanksgiving-related words.When translating holiday-related words to Spanish, keep in mind that there may be only a partial correlation between meanings. For example, while a gravy is salsa in Spanish, salsa can refer to many other types of sauce as well.The Spanish phrase for the holiday itself is a long one: Día de Acción de Gracias.