Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day

Harvest Festivals






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Harvest Festivals

Harvest Festivals from Around the World

    African Harvest Festivals

    In Africa the festival is of a religious nature and has lots of dancing and music. Dancers wear masks and each dance tells a story. The stories range from a good ghost who looks after their crops and scares away the bad ghosts who try to spoil the food.

    African people have always had festivals at the time of harvest.

    In some parts of Africa good grain harvests are a cause for celebration. In other parts of Africa there is the Festival of Yams.

    Tribes of West Africa, for example, celebrate the yam harvest with days of ceremonies and offerings of yams to their ancestors and to the gods.

    The Yam Festival is usually held in the beginning of August at the end of the rainy season.

    A popular holiday in Ghana and Nigeria, the Yam Festival is named after the most common food.

    Yams are the first crops to be harvested. People offer yams to the gods and ancestors first before they distribute them to the rest of the village.

    This is their way of giving thanks to the spirits.

    The Homowo Festival of Africa, is a celebration of a traditional harvest festival from the Ga people of Ghana, West Africa, it is the largest cultural festival of its kind. For the Ga people, the word Homowo means "hooting at hunger."

    The origin of Homowo is tied to the origin of the Ga people and their migration to Ghana. The Ga traveled for many years before reaching the west coast of Africa where they now live. Along the way they experienced famine, but because they helped each other, they survived. Later when their harvests were bountiful, they held a feast at which they jeered at the hunger and hard times that had plagued them. This was the first Homowo.

    The Homowo Festival commences with a traditional Ghanaian procession in which people from local African and African-American assume the roles of kings, queens and followers of the royal family of each of Ghana's ethnic groups.

    In some African cultures they hold a ceremony called "first fruits" that takes several days of planning in order to bless the newly harvested crops and purify the people before they eat the foods.

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