Cultures around the world have been celebrating harvest festivals since Bible times. They're suitable for family outings and corporate events. Thanksgiving was originally a celebration to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. Some harvest festivals take place in September at the time of the Autumn Equinox or the Harvest Moon. Others are scheduled in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and Halloween. In northern climates, harvest festivals are chance to get outdoors and view the fall foliage in living color.
While every harvest festival has its unique, local flavor, there are some elements that these annual events share. Think farmers' markets, great home cooking, contests, arts and crafts sales, and lots of entertainment. Pumpkins, bales of hay, corn mazes, barn dances, hay rides, and bon fires are synonymous with harvest festivals in many locations. In some areas, religious ceremonies or church services are held to give thanks for the harvest.
Pick your destination and time your trip to take in the festivities of a harvest festival:
- Woodbridge Fall Fair
- Wakefield, Quebec: Harvest Festival
- Oakville: Downtown Harvest Festival
- Kleinberg, Ontario: Binder Twine Festival
Japan has a number of fall festivals. Here are two examples.
- Takayama Fall Festival
- Jidai Matsuri in Kyoto
- Tennessee: Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival
- Maine: York Harvestfest
A harvest festival is one of the few remaining opportunities to enjoy what's left of the warm weather before the first snowfall arrives. It's a theme that more event planners should consider for fall conferences and special events.
Search the Cvent Supplier Network for hotels in close proximity to a harvest festival.
Photo Credit: librarianmer
When and where is your favorite harvest festival?