Agriculture is one of the oldest branches of human activity. Without his achievements, all of us would still be subsisting on gathering and hunting, and who knows what consequences this could lead to modern civilization. And the annual harvest is a guarantee that people will not suffer from hunger in winter, and developed agriculture helps the economy by selling the surplus of this harvest to other countries.
Therefore, the very concept of harvest has been revered and deified in many cultures since ancient times. In order to express their gratitude to nature, the universe or a deity, many peoples have special celebrations, such as the harvest festival.
The most famous of these events is the Celtic Samhain, which is celebrated on November 1st. By and large, it is not quite a harvest festival - it is the day of the beginning of the new year, honoring the dead. But it so happened that just on November 1, the Celts finished collecting from the fieldsgrown and began to divide it among the inhabitants of the community. On this day, cattle were divided into those that were able to survive the winter cold, and those that had to be slaughtered. And, in fact, they also stocked meat on that day.
In European Christian culture, the harvest festival also exists. It is celebrated on September 29, the day of Saint Michael. By this time, all field work is usually over, and the bread has already been put away in the bins. This holiday is considered evidence that people are ready for winter and a new cycle, and the next year's stocks are already ready. But the Eastern Slavs have a separate harvest holiday - Osenins, which are celebrated on September 21.
In Ukraine, traditionally, such an event as the completion of work in the field and the end of the agricultural season in general coincided with a religious holiday - the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In Ukrainian, this holiday is called "The Friend is Pure", and it is also celebrated on September 21st. The Mother of God in Ukrainian culture is considered the patroness of the family, harvest, agriculture and motherhood.
In the US, there is no Harvest Day as a separate holiday. It is replaced by Thanksgiving - one of the most revered in this nation. It is directly related to the harvest. To the starving pioneers who arrived on the continent in 1620, the local Sioux Indians brought food and seeds during the winter as a pledge of friendship. And in the spring, they also helped the surviving Europeans to plant them and get the first, unexpectedly rich, harvest. For the festivea 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 we alth, the fruits of the American soil, abundance and prosperity. It has been celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November since 1621.
Theoretically, the Harvest Day holiday in Russia also exists, but it is celebrated as the Nativity of the Virgin. This celebration is dedicated to family well-being and harvesting. For everything that the local people grew, they 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 according to the new - on the twenty-first. On the night of this day, "threshing" began, and also set fire to a "new" fire, which was produced by friction. Such a ceremony is typical for Russian provinces in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
This holiday our people meet cheerfully - with songs and dances. A large meal is also organized. There are many dishes on the table. There is also kutya from cereals of the new crop, and bread, and cottage cheese.
There is a harvest festival in many more countries. It can be called differently, carry different traditions. But the time of its celebration remains the same - usually it is the end of summer or early autumn, when work in the field ends, and it is already possible to sum up the season and calculate the harvest.