Since the man learned to cultivate, harvesting of crops had always been a reason to celebrate. According to the definition, a harvest festival is an annual celebration which occurs around the time of the main harvest of a given region. You will be amazed to know that there are more 100s of harvesting festivals celebrated throughout the world. Let’s discuss some of the world’s most fascinating and enthralling Harvesting festivals around the world.
La Tomatina – The tomato harvesting festival of Spain
La Tomatina is held in the Valencian town of Buñol, a town located in the East of Spain. It is celebrated on the last Wednesday of August since the Giants and Big-Heads figures parade. Due to extreme energy and enthusiasm showed by these boys one of the participants fell down. The participant flew into a fit of rage. There was a market stall of vegetable which was full of tomatoes as that was the time of tomato harvest, thus that participant started throwing tomatoes on the crowd.
Later on, people also started to pelt each other with tomatoes until the local forces ended that vegetable battle. This led to being a memorable moment and celebrated annually on the same day as a mark of a good harvest of tomatoes.Tomatoes of almost millions of dollar are brought to the streets of the town and people throw tomatoes on each other and celebrate the festival with great joy.
2. Mehregan- the Pomegranate harvesting festival of Iran
For Iranians, pomegranate is a symbol of the sun, immortality, and beauty. The glossy red color of the fruit itself symbolizes energy and life. Thus the pomegranate harvest festival is an important event for Iranian. It is celebrated every year in mid-autumn to thank God for their pomegranate harvest. The history behind the festival is that in Zoroastrians era the pomegranate trees were planted in temples and at the time of harvest People use to burn the woods of this tree in order to get hidden devils out of their houses. They eat the fruit in order to purify themselves then they celebrate this purification. Later on, this festival is celebrated as the pomegranate harvest festival.
The festival lasts for five fun-filled days; dances, games, and concerts are organized. The pomegranates, as well as dishes from pomegranate, are exhibited as treats.
3.The New Yam Festival – An unique celebration by the Igbo people of Nigeria
The New Yam Festival has held annually at the end of the rainy season in early August. It is celebrated throughout West Africa (especially in Nigeria and Ghana) and other African countries, symbolizing the conclusion of a harvest and the beginning of the next work cycle.
Yams are the first and maximum important vegetation of the location. the new Yam festival depicts the prominence of yam inside the social-cultural life of Igbo human beings.
The celebration is a culture based occasion. It is an interesting fact that the evening prior to the day of the festival, all old yams (from the previous year’s crop) are consumed or discarded.That is because it’s miles believed that the brand new year has to begin with tasty, clean yams the day after today the only dishes of yam are served on the feast, as”. The next day the only dishes of yam are served at the feast, as a symbol of the abundance of the produce. The festival is extended to the open market squares and streets where spectacular dances and songs are hailed in a carnival mood.
4. Baisakhi- The harvest festival of northern India
Baisakhi is a long established harvest festival in the Punjab. It has been celebrated on 13th April since 1699 when the tenth guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh choose to transform the Sikhs into a family of soldier saints, known as the Khalsa Panth. From then onwards the day was celebrated with great festivity in northern India. Baisakhi also marks the New Year and the start of the new harvest season.
Gurudwaras are decorated and visited on this day. Traditional parades, dancing, and singing can be throughout the throughout the day. Nagar kirtans also take place which is marked by processions carried throughout the town along with music, singing and chanting scriptures and hymns. The Guru Granth Sahib will be carried in the procession for the honor.
5. Pongal- The harvest festival of Southern India
Pongal is a Tamil harvest festival. It is a four-day festival which is celebrated from January 14 to January 16. Pongal is celebrated in Tamil Nadu, Indian Union Territory of Pondicherry, the country of Sri Lanka, as well as Tamils worldwide, including those in Malaysia, Mauritius, South Africa, United States, Singapore, Canada, and UK. The origins of the Pongal festival may date to more than 1000 years ago during the Medieval Chola empire days. During that time Puthiyeedu (Rice) is believed to represent the first harvest of the year and people convey appreciation to the Sun God for a successful harvest.
On the first day of the festival, people burn their old belongings in a bonfire. A feast is held featuring rice, jaggery (palm sugar) and dal (lentils) as a celebration of the prosperity and cattle are worshipped and on the fourth-day people visits temples.
6. Moon Festival – Fun-filled harvest festival of China
This Mid-Autumn Harvest Festival is celebrated in China, Taiwan, Singapore, and Vietnam on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. Its history hails back to the age of the imperial courts, namely the Tang Dynasty; the festival celebrates the full moon, the family, and food. Thus it is named as moon festival.
Families gather to enjoy the full moon which is a symbol of abundance, harmony, and luck. Special delicacies called “mooncakes” are prepared during this time. Ceremonies are held to give thanks for the harvest and to pray for the harvest again in the coming year.