Thanksgiving and Other Harvest Festivals
Without the ability to grow and harvest crops, permanent civilizations would not have developed. Because societies were dependent on cultivating their crops for food, storage, and trade, harvesting became a sacred event in many cultures. Ancient people believed spirits lived within their crops, and went to great lengths to appease these beings. Although modern thought has evolved since that era, the significance of the harvest has hardly been lost. From the New Yam Festival in Africa to the Jewish Sukkot to Thanksgiving Day in the United States, the majority of cultures throughout the world have set aside days to celebrate times of bounty. Thanksgiving and Other Harvest Festivals looks at how the regions of Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and North America pay homage to the harvest and everything it represents.
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African ancestors ancient areas Asia Aztec beer believed bonﬁres called Canada Caribbean Catholic celebrate the harvest century ceremony China Chinese Chinese calendar Christian Chusok corn Côte d’Ivoire countries crops cultures dance early Earth Estonia Europe European farming ﬁelds ﬁnd ﬁre ﬁrst ﬁrst fruits ﬁsh ﬂoat ﬂowers give thanks gods grape harvest celebrations harvest festivals Holidays and Celebrations Homowo honor important Inca Indians indigenous Israel Jewish John’s Day Judaism Kadooment krathong land Latin America Leopold’s live llama Martin’s Day Midsummer Midsummer’s Day Moon Festival mooncakes Myanmar Naga Native American night North America northern numbers ofﬁcial Oktoberfest Onam Pachamama pagan Parade Peru Pilgrims Plymouth Pongal region religions religious rites rituals Rosh Hashanah sacriﬁce saints season Sham el Nessim Shavuot sing South Spanish speciﬁc spirits sukkah Sukkot summer solstice Swazi Thanksgiving Day traditional tribes turkey United village wine Yam Festival Year’s