Wednesday, October 15, 2014

16 Days to Hallowe'en - The Harvest Festival

The autumn season is the time for our harvest festivals in the Northern Hemisphere. You will notice that while some festivals celebrate the first harvest, other celebrate the final harvest.

Many of them also have an aspect of fertility ritual embedded in them, which is to be expected as a fertile harvest portended a fertile population, and vice versa.

While festivals can range from early July to late October (or January to March in the Southern Hemisphere) depending on region, most cultures have traditionally feasted following the harvest and before the winter hibernation. Here are some of the many harvest festivals from around the world.

Bagach - end of the grain harvest/birth of the Virgin (Belarus)
BĂ©nichon - blessing of the harvest (Switzerland)
Bhogali Bihu - celebration of the end of the harvest (India - Assam - celebrated in January/February)
Chuseok - thanking the ancestors for the harvest (Korea)
Dozhinki - celebration of the end of the wheat harvest (Belarus, Poland, and Russia)
Dree Festival (India - Apatani)
Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia - celebration of the grape harvest (Argentina - celebrated in February)
Gawai Dayak - celebration of the rice harvest (Sarawak, Malaysia and Indonesia)
Guldize - end of the corn harvest (Cornwall)
Homowo/Sesebumo or "To Hoot at Hunger" - Sesebumo is the last festival of the Homowo festival at the end of the corn harvest - (Ghana) and Iriji (Nigeria)
Incwala - first fruits festival (Swaziland)
Kaamatan - end of the rice harvest (Sabah - Malaysia, Borneo)
Lammas/Lughnasadh - beginning of the harvest (Celtic/Pagan - UK)
Maras Taun - end of the rice harvest (Belitung, Indonesia)
Nabanna (Bengal, India and Bangladesh)
Niiname-sai - "celebration of the first taste" (Japan)
Olivagando - olive harvest festival (Italy)
Onam (Malayali, India)
Oseniny - end of the harvest season (Russia and Slavic countries)
Pongal - celebration of the first fruits (Tamil Nadu)
Samhain - Gaelic/Pagan/Wiccan end of harvest celebration
Sukkot - Feast of the Ingathering (Jewish) Today is actually the last day of Sukkot!
Tet Trung Thu - celebrating the farmer spending more time with the family after harvest season (Vietnam)

Any harvest festivals that I've missed out on?

No comments:

Post a Comment