Around the world, the harvest season is celebrated with unique fanfare. It’s common for this “season of plenty” to be hailed with nationwide festivals or smaller-scale, personal celebrations.
To celebrate the abundance of the season, most festivals typically include seasonal treats, traditional music, and longstanding rituals.
Chuseok – South Korea
This longstanding celebration originated with the full harvest moon on the lunar calendar, and it stands today as a nationwide event. The history of Chuseok began as the people of South Korea gave thanks to their ancestors for an ample harvest. Today, the citizens of the country join their relatives in celebration of Chuseok, dispersing to areas outside of the major cities, making the roads especially busy that day. A favorite food during this festival is the songpyeon, which is a half-moon shaped steamed cake of freshly-ground new rice, sesame seeds, and other fillings. This food serves as an offering to a family’s ancestors. The event is also made special with performances and musical experiences, including the famous circle dance known as ganggangsullae.
Apple and Grape Harvest Festival – Stanthorpe, Queensland
This annual celebration of food and drink has spanned multiple decades in the “Granite Belt” of Australia. An exciting parade sets the tone for ten days’ worth of harvest jubilance, as the area revels in its seasonal abundance. The scene at the Apple and Grape Harvest festival is buzzing and active, featuring a bike race, a marathon, a golf championship, and more. Some of Australia’s best street musicians also converge on the scene; these “buskers” compete in the National Championships. Visitors from all regions of the continent descend upon the small town of Stanthorpe to enjoy the fun. This late-February event ushers in the Southern Hemisphere’s autumnal season.
Homowo Festival – Greater Accra Region, Ghana
Legend claims that this festival arose following a significant famine in the land. But the people of the region started on a new path of food cultivation, bringing forth a plentiful harvest. Now the Homowo Festival is a significant event in the Greater Accra region of Ghana. The festival is proceeded by a month-long ban on noise-making and drumming, as the local people await the burst of music and sound. The event is truly a sight to behold, with grand speeches, music, and exciting performances. The head chief of the traditional region, known as the GA Mantse, travels throughout the area, sprinkling food on the ground in a spiritual offering. Residents also watch a boat race which is accompanied by a food known as kpokpoi, cooked with maize and consumed with a palm nut soup.
Olivagando – Magione, Italy
The Tuscany region celebrates the flavors of fall with Olivagando, a local food extravaganza. The event attracts visitors to the region and engages locals in initiatives to celebrate the versatile olive. Food tastings, seminars, theatrical performances, and musical performances highlight the importance of the olive in Italian culture. The three-day event attracts visitors to the region with the full calendar of immersive events, showcasing the culinary bounty of this area.
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Danielle Martin has taught multiple subjects to students in three different states. She previously spent time as a literary agent’s assistant and video editor. Danielle writes about education, health, and lifestyle topics, and she also enjoys writing fiction.