Harvest Festival: what is this celebration
Agriculture is one of the oldest branches of human activity. Without his achievements, we all would still be interrupted by gathering and hunting, and who knows what consequences this could have brought modern civilization. And the crop harvested annually is a guarantee that in winter the people will not suffer from hunger, and developed agriculture helps the economy by realizing the surpluses of this crop to other countries.
Therefore, the very notion of harvest is revered and deified in many cultures from ancient times. In order to express their gratitude to nature, the universe or the deity, many nations have special celebrations, such as a harvest festival.
The most famous of these events is the Celtic Saminese, which is celebrated on November 1. By and large, it is not really a harvest festival - it's the day of the beginning of the new year, the worship of the dead. But it so happened that just on November 1, the Celts finished collecting from the fields grown and began to divide it among the inhabitants of the community. On this day, the animals were divided into the one that was able to survive the winter cold, and the one that should be stabbed. And, in fact, they made stocks of meat too on this day.
In the European Christian culture, the harvest festival also exists. It is celebrated on September 29, the day of St. Michael. By this time, usually all field work ends, and the bread is already harvested in the bins. This holiday is considered a testament to the fact that people are ready for winter and a new cycle, and next year the reserves are already ready. But the eastern Slavs have a separate harvest festival - Oseniny, which are celebrated on September 21.
In Ukraine, traditionally such an event as the end of work in the field and the completion of the agricultural season as a whole, coincided with the religious holiday - the Birthday of the Most Holy Theotokos. In Ukrainian this holiday is called "Druha prechista", and it is celebrated on September 21 as well. The Virgin in Ukrainian culture is considered the patroness of the family, harvest, farming and motherhood.
In the United States as a separate holiday, there is no harvest day. It is replaced by Thanksgiving Day - one of the most revered by this nation. It is connected with the crop directly. Starving settlers who arrived on the continent in 1620, Indians of the local Sioux tribe brought winter food and seeds as a pledge of friendship. And in the spring they also helped the surviving Europeans to plant them and get the first, unexpectedly rich, crop. At the festive dinner dedicated to this event, many Indians were invited. And since then the friendship between them and the settlers began to grow stronger. And on this day a holiday arose, Thanksgiving Day, which glorifies the wealth, the fruits of the American land, abundance and well-being. It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, beginning in 1621.
Theoretically, the harvest day in Russia is also there, but it is celebrated as the Nativity of the Virgin. This celebration is dedicated to family well-being and harvesting. For all that the local people have raised, thanked and honored the Mother of God. It was believed that it was she who patronized agriculture and the family, especially mothers. According to the old style, this holiday fell on the eighth of September, and on the new - on the twenty-first. On the night of this day, "zamolotki" started, and also set fire to a "new" fire, which was extracted by friction. Such a rite is typical for the Russian provinces in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
This holiday our people meet cheerfully - with songs and dances. Also organized a large meal. There are many dishes on the table. There are also kutya from the cereals of the new crop, and bread, and cottage cheese.
There is a harvest festival in many countries. It can be called in different ways, carry different traditions. But the time remains for him to celebrate - usually it's the end of summer or early autumn, when the work in the field ends, and it's already possible to sum up the season and calculate the harvested crop.