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Autumn customs

Autumn Special Part 2

Harvest festivals

Harvest festivals exist in many cultures. Thanksgiving was celebrated as early as pre-Christian times, when humans gave thanks to the gods at the conclusion of harvesting.

Festival and Thanksgiving celebration have two related sources:

1. The dependence of man on the natural cycle
2. the religious significance - thanks to God for the

Already the old Israelites celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles.

How many ancient customs were harvesting rituals adapted by the church.

In Great Britain the harvest festival was introduced in the middle of the last century. Since that time the churches have been decorated with cereals, fruits, vegetables and products of all kinds.

After the Thanksgiving Service the products are distributed to charities


In the United States and Canada, Thanksgiving Day (German: Day of Thanksgiving).

1623 During a period of drought in New England, a day of fasting and prayer was observed, from which the custom of expressing thanks each year after harvest developed.

1863 President Abraham Lincoln introduced Thanksgiving Day as a public holiday in 1863, which has since been celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November.

In some parts of Germany there is still the „harvest thanksgiving".

Grain, fruit and vegetables are lying on the wagons pulled by horses or tractors. Children and adults wear old costumes and show some of the old harvest customs.

Often, heavy harvest wreaths and harvest crowns are tied from cereal stalks. The harvest festival is celebrated with song, dance and good food

In France a harvest festival is also celebrated at the end of the autumn grape harvest.

Nowadays the church harvest celebration is integrated into the church service.

Harvest offerings decorate the altar or are brought to the altar during church services.

In many congregations this service is also connected with a solidarity action in favour of hungry people.

In the Main metropolis harvest festivals take place every year from mid to end of September in the Palmengarten and on the shopping mile Zeil.

Harvest thought elements are also contained in comparable festivities:

The Almabtrieb in the mountains contains them as well as various Heiligenfeste in late autumn.

The feast of St. Michael (29 Sept.) is as much a part of this as the feast of St. Martin (11 Nov.), when the Martin's fairy (the new wine) is drunk and the Martin's goose is eaten.

Am Martin's Day the children parade through the streets in colourful parades with lanterns armed.

In popular custom, the thought of death and transience plays an important role in the celebrations and commemoration days taking place in autumn (see All Saints' Day, All Souls' Day, Sunday of the Dead)./p>

Chir festivals and fairs

October is not only the time of many harvest festivals.

In many places one celebrates the celebration of the Kirchweih, also Kirmes (Kirchmesse), Kirta (Kirchweihtag), Kirchweihe or Kirchweihfest, Kerbe or Kilbe mentioned.

The church festival commemorates the custom, documented since the 9th century, of celebrating the day of the solemn inauguration of a church, the church consecration, every year.

Usually the festivities were celebrated with a service in the church.

Then followed village dance events, market, fair, competitions and a big feast.

Today the Kirchweihfest has developed into a popular folk festival for "young and old", which often lasts three to four days.

One of the oldest (since 1608) and most traditional church festivals in Frankfurt is the "Bernemer Kerb" (Bornheimer Kirchweihfest), which is celebrated every year in the Bornheim district.

It is very nice to see the change from the former Kirchweihfest to today's Volksfest.

Learn more about autumn HERE


You can read nice autumn poems HERE

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