It’s Harvest time! Around the world this is an important, often sacred time, signifying prosperity and providing the means to get through a cold winter. Here are a few harvest festivals around the world:
Moon Festival: China
Anyone familiar with the novel “The Joy Luck Club” will recognize this. One of my favorite vignettes from that book features this festival, and in fact it was turned into a separate children’s book which I adored as a kid. The Moon Festival is a time for families to gather together and takes place in mid August. It’s especially known for traditional “moon cakes” which feature prominently in the story from “The Joy Luck Club.”
Pongal is an Indian rice dish, served during the festival time of the same name. Symbolizing new opportunities and abundance from the land, this festival spans over four days and involves big gatherings and the honoring of cattle, sun, rain and family.
Yam Festival: West Africa
A public holiday in Ghana and Nigeria, during this festival yams are offered to the gods as the end of the rainy season is marked. The festival is also known as “Homowow” meaning “To Hoot at Hunger.” It is a celebration hoping for a bountiful harvest with parades, music, dancing and singing.
Thanksgiving: North America
In North America, harvest time culminates in the celebration of Thanksgiving. Turkey is typically served in the United States, a symbol of the first Thanksgiving which occurred in 1621. Other typical Thanksgiving fare includes stuffing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie.
Have you attended any of these harvest festivals around the world? What did you think?
Eat Well, Travel Well ~ Samantha