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Harvest Festivals

Harvest Festivals from Around the World

    Israeli Harvest Festival

    There are many harvest festivals held and all have a religious significance and are based around the Torah which is the laws by which everyone must obey. These laws are how people should behave, how to treat the land so it produces good crops. These festivals are held to show that they honor and follow the teachings of the Torah.

    In Israel the Jewish Harvest festival is known as Sukkot or as it is also known Succoth or the Feast of the Tabernacles. This is the day for remembering the journey of the Jews through the desert to the Promised Land. For this day Huts are put up in the synagogues and in people's gardens, families gather in them to eat their meals.

    The festival of Sukkot or Succoth lasts for seven days. It recollects the harvesting of the grapes and fruit in Ancient times. In the past most Jews were shepherds or farmers. They lived in the village and walked out each day to tend to their crops. At harvest time they thought it would be better to build shelters in the fields as a lot of time was wasted walking back and forth. This was done to enable maximum time spent harvesting the crops and also as a way of being more profitable.

    During the festival there are processions and services held in the synagogues to remind them of how many hundred of years ago the priests would carry palm branches and sing hymns. People carry fruit with them as a reminder of how beautiful things are. In one hand they carry the etrog fruit which is like a lemon only larger. In the right hand a bunch of leaves known as a lulav. This is a palm, willow and myrtle branch. The palm stands for uprightness, the willow stands for humility and the myrtle stands for faithfulness. Together it means brotherhood and peace.



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