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Lesser Known Harvest Festivals Across the World

Not always coinciding with Autumn, but certainly celebrating a harvest season and Thanksgiving, these are some of the lesser-known harvest festivals around the world:

The Rice Harvest Festival of Indonesia (May and June):

Held in Bali, this island is primarily Hindu-based unlike the rest of Indonesia, the Harvest festival is a feature of that culture. The harvest time follows New Year when special ceremonies to purge evil spirits from the land are held. This festival is dedicated to the rice goddess and is a joyous celebration where towns are decorated with colourful flags. 
Lesser Known Harvest Festivals Across the World

Mid-Autumn Festival, China, Taiwan and Vietnam (September and October):

This is one of the most important and traditional holidays in these countries and is also known as the moon festival as it coincides with the full moon. As such, ‘mooncakes’ are made and eaten, ceremonies giving thanks for the harvest are observed and thanks and well wishes are offered up to entice another abundant season to return the following year. Mid-Autumn festival is a time for family gatherings, matchmaking and public celebration.
Yam Festival, Ghana (August or September):

In Ghana, yams (similar to our sweet potato) are an integral part of sustaining life. The Ewe people give thanks and celebrate the end of the rainy season as that’s when the first signs of yams appear. Although the dates aren’t quite set, the festival occurs each year to ward off famine and is celebrated with dancing and public parades. Papua New Guinea has a similar festival. 
Lesser Known Harvest Festivals Across the World

Sukkoth, Jewish Festival (September and October):

Also known as the festival of the Booths, Sukkoth occurs on the 15th day of Tishri in the Jewish calendar. This eight-day festival gives thanks to God for a bountiful harvest, with booths and huts built to commemorate when the Israelites lived in huts in the desert, before entering the Promised Land, as recounted in the Old Testament – Jewish scripture. 
Lesser Known Harvest Festivals Across the World

Pongal, Thailand (January):

Another festival to celebrate the rice harvest, Pongal’s four days of celebrations after the Winter solstice celebrates the return of longer days and life-giving sunlight. This particular festival is celebrated by Tamil-speaking people, where the word itself means ‘to boil’ and is the same name as the rice dish, Tamil, prepared during the same time. 
Lesser Known Harvest Festivals Across the World

Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia, Argentina (March or April):
This is Argentina’s grape harvest festival and takes place in Mendoza City, as one of the country’s most important festivals attracting a swarming 40,000 visitors to what is otherwise a sleepy town. 

The fountains spew out wine-coloured water and the city’s crowning event is a beauty pageant attracting contestants from each of the 18 regions of Mendoza. The festival does, however, originate from the 17th Century when wine was used for consecration and peasants would offer fruit to their deity, the Virgin of Carrodilla – a celestial patron saint of Mendoza’s vineyards.
Lesser Known Harvest Festivals Across the World

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