Harvest Festival (United Kingdom)
|Observed by||United Kingdom|
|Date||The Sunday closest to the harvest moon|
|Related to||Erntedankfest (Germany and Austria)|
Thanksgiving (United States)
The Harvest Festival of Thanksgiving is a celebration of the harvest and food grown on the land in the United Kingdom. It is about giving thanks for a successful crop yield over the year as winter starts to approach. The festival is also about giving thanks for all the good and positive things in our lives such as family and friendships. Harvest Festivals have been traditionally held in churches but also in schools and sometimes in pubs. Some estates and farms used to hold a harvest festival in a barn. In some towns and villages the harvest festivals are set so that the different churches do not have it on the same day. People bring in produce from their garden, allotment or farm. Often there is a Harvest Supper when some of the produce is eaten. Typically surplus produce is given away to a local charity, hospital or children's home or auctioned for charity.
Most churches, especially in rural areas hold a Harvest Festival, but the timing varies on local tradition. Many church schools also hold one which is mid-week. Harvest Festivals in the United Kingdom take place at different days after harvest usually in September or October, depending in the local harvest. Unlike Thanksgiving in the USA, the date has not been made an official public holiday. Though the Sunday is Harvest Thanksgiving day, many parades, festivals and services occur on other separate dates around this time.