10 Ways You Know You're at a Latino Thanksgiving

When it comes to celebrating Thanksgiving, we all have our own ideas of a traditional meal. While your non-Latino friends will be celebrating the holiday with a buttered turkey, sweet potato casserole and a classic stuffing, your table will look just a little different.

There are a few not-so-typical dishes and traditions that your American friends might gawk at. Sure, your familia may be a little different, but it’s still a day to give thanks and be grateful to be surrounded by your loved ones. In the spirit of the holidays, we’ve rounded up the top 10 ways that you know you’re at a Latino Thanksgiving. Have more family customs to share? Tell us in the comments!

Read more: 5 Ways to (Latin) Spice Up Your Thanksgiving.

1. Latino Thanksgiving: There will be pork alongside the turkey.

There will be pork alongside the turkey.

It’s not really a true Thanksgiving unless you have a fork full of turkey and some of your abuelita’s pernil. That’s just how the holidays are meant to be.


2. Latino Thanksgiving: Dinner starts no earlier than 9pm.

Dinner starts no earlier than 9pm.

Did you really think you’d be able to gather everyone before then? Good luck trying to convince people that it’s time to sit down and eat any earlier.


3. Latino Thanksgiving: You don’t hold hands to give thanks.

You don’t hold hands to give thanks.

Some of your relatives might know how Thanksgiving started, some might not. But one thing’s for sure: once you’re at the table, it’s time to EAT.


4. Latino Thanksgiving: Rice & beans shares the table with mashed potatoes.

Rice & beans shares the table with mashed potatoes.

Stuffing? No, thanks! That’s not for us. Instead, the traditional mashed potatoes will have to share the side-dish spotlight with mami’s arroz con gandules.


5. Latino Thanksgiving: Your typical dessert includes flan, not pie.

Your typical dessert includes flan, not pie.

Sure, some of your family might have jumped on the pie wagon, but most of us still stick to a flan when it comes to dessert. Okay, so maybe a pumpkin flan.


6. Latino Thanksgiving: There’s at least 10 women in the kitchen.

There’s at least 10 women in the kitchen.

Just as with every other fiesta your family throws, the Thanksgiving Day kitchen is a mess with your abuelita, tias, mami and cousins lending a helping hand.


7. Latino Thanksgiving: Forget the football, we’re playing salsa.

Forget the football, we’re playing salsa.

None of the men in your family are actually interested in watching some guys throw around a pigskin. Instead, listen to the blaring sounds of salsa (or bachata, or merengue, or…).


8. Latino Thanksgiving: 40-person tables aren’t that uncommon.

40-person tables aren’t that uncommon.

Thanksgiving is a family affair. And we do mean the whole family. Seeing your second cousin twice removed with her three kids? Not really unusual.


9. Latino Thanksgiving: Que vino? Let’s break out the coquito!

Que vino? Let’s break out the coquito!

Or the tequila, or whatever it is that your family drinks around this holiday. Maybe there’s some wine at the table, too, but that’s certainly not the only thing being served.


10. Latino Thanksgiving: The night ends with dancing (obviously).

The night ends with dancing (obviously).

At the end of the day, Thanksgiving is all about spending time with your family—and we bet your family ends the day with some spirited dancing. Good food, good music and plenty of familia is all we need, right?