We became humans from apes only when we learned to grow our own food. When we started planting crops and harvesting them, we became farmers from hunters and gatherers. That was the beginning of human civilisation. Even today, after so many scientific advancement, the system of sowing crops and harvesting them still exists.
Human beings are basically agrarian by nature, that is why, most of the religious rites and festivals have grown around the system of farming. So, almost every culture in the world has some or the other harvest festival.
These are some of the biggest harvest festivals of the world.
Thanksgiving: One of the most celebrated American holidays, Thanksgiving, is originally a harvest festival. It dates back to 1642 when the Puritans displaced from England and landed on the American soil. They adopted the tradition of the native Americans to thank the Gods for a bountiful harvest. So, Thanksgiving is not just about a juicy roast turkey. It is a harvest festival in its roots.
Indian Harvest Festivals: As we all know, India is very diverse country with many different languages cultures and traditions. Almost every state in India has its own harvest festival. Tamil Naduu has Pongal, Kerala has Vishu and Maharashtra has Gudiparva to name a few.
Sukkot: This Jewish festival is celebrated with much splendor in Israel. Sukkot is a festival that lasts for 7 days during which the faithful pray at the Temple of Jerusalem (now the Wailing Wall). The Sukkot is a festival mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible. The name 'Sukkot' translates to 'Feast of the gathering' in Hebrew and that shows it is an agricultural festival.
Crop Over: The Caribbean islands are not just famous for their beer and the beaches. They also have something very unique to offer the world and that is sugarcane. The harvest of the sugarcane crops are celebrated grandly in the island of Barbados. Crop over is also famous for its music, singing and dancing.
Timoleague: Nobody values a good harvest more than the Celts. Ireland has seen some of the worst famines in history, that is why a harvest festival like Timoleague has special significance here. It is celebrated in the month of August every year.
These are some of the world's best know harvest festivals. Do add to the list if know any others.