Past Issues:

Harvest festivals around the world

What you don’t know could fill a cornucopia.

North AmericaThanksgiving was brought to North America by European settlers and first held in Canada in 1578. This celebration evolved out of the Jewish holiday of Succot, an ancient harvest festival of the Israelites.

Ancient EgyptThis spri ng-time harvest festival was dedicated to the honor of Min, their god of vegetation and fertility.

Ancient GreeceThe ancient Greeks worshipped Demeter as their goddess of all grains each autumn at the festival of Thesmosphoria.

Ancient RomeCerelia, a harvest festival on October 4, was dedicated to the honor of Ceres. Ceres was their goddess of corn (from which the word cereal comes).

Eastern AsiaThe Moon Festival also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, is a popular celebration of abundance and togetherness, dating back over 3,000 years to China’s Zhou Dynasty. In Malaysia and Singapore, it is also sometimes referred to as the Lantern Festival or “Mooncake Festival.”

Ghana & NigeriaThe Yam Festival is usually held in the beginning of August at the end of the rainy season. It is named after the most common food that goes by the same name in many African countries.

KoreaChusok or Chuseok is a major three-day harvest festival holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar Korean calendar.

Northern India Vaisakhi, also known as Baisakhi, is a long established harvest festival in Northern India and has religious significance for both Sikhs and Hindus. It falls on the first day of the Vaisakh month in the solar Nanakshahi calendar (April 13).

South India – Pongal (Rice Harvest Festival) is a popular harvest festival in South India held January 14-16.

Onam is an annual 10 day harvest festival during the month of Chingam (August/September). Celebrated mainly in Kerala, it is a popular festival among the cultural repertoire of Malayalees.