You might be aware that countries like the United States, Brazil, Canada, Liberia, and Puerto Rico all celebrate Thanksgiving, but you might not be aware that Japan also celebrates the holiday.

More than 2,000 years ago, when rice was first grown in Japan, Labor Day was followed by a festival called Niinamesai, also known as the Autumn Harvest Festival. The original Niinamesai rite was performed to celebrate the autumnal harvest of rice, wheat, barley, and beans while Japan was ruled by the legendary Emperor Jimmu. The reigning Emperor Tenmu would participate in a unique ceremony to taste the year’s rice for the first time. The Niinamesai became more strongly connected to recalling the difficult effort of the previous year between 667 and 686 AD. Thanksgiving in Japan is known as “Kinro Kansha no Hi,” which is sometimes known as Labor Thanksgiving Day. In Japan, Thanksgiving is a widely observed national holiday that honors the sacrifices made by workers.

The event is traditionally observed as a peaceful public holiday in Japan, with family visits to parks or other green areas and a simple meal.