Harvest Feasts

I am of Irish descent, and I grew up in Salem. This gives me a very cooperative feeling with the old feasts and how they fit into the agricultural year and being a Christian. Many of the festivals we celebrate today come from the Celtic and involve some type of planting, harvesting and putting up food for the winter. The most recent one is called many things: All Hallow’s Eve, Halloween, Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead), All Soul’s Day, All Saints Day, and Samhain. However, the meaning of this is pretty clear; as people we all acknowledge the shorter days and in many way remember death. We remember those who came before us, celebrate their lives, as we watch the leaves fall, and the first frost takes away the tender crops. The moon is the closest to the earth at this time, which is great as the people of old had to do their harvest, and could use the light at night. We also dress up in costumes and play–this probably was started by the agrarian people as a way to be lighthearted as they watched their crops die back, and had to work very long hours. They could not go down to the local grocery store, so this represented a busy time of work, putting stuff up, worrying that what they had would be enough, etc.
As a gardener, this season is really revealed to me as a harvest festival. However, as a modern day gardener, I know that I can always go down to the store if I run out. I feel very connected to all the people that came before me as I dry out my herbs, pickle my root vegetables, dig up my sweet potatoes, etc. It also makes me feel very connected to the earth itself.
I have a counter full of fresh herbs drying, many pickled veggies in the fridge, 3 huge sacks of sweet potatoes. a lot of dead vines and plants and a sense of reflection. I hope to post more on this blog. It sounds like I will be exploring the sweet potato.
Happy Harvest Festival.

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2 thoughts on “Harvest Feasts

  1. Very interesting, Trish. Thank you for sharing. I envy you for having your own garden! My parents always had a huge one when I was growing up and I miss those good fresh veggies and the good times we had “shelling and shucking”! Enjoy your autumn!

    ~Evelyn

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    • This was such an interesting and enjoyable blog. I learned a lot from it, and loved reading about your gardening, harvesting and preserving experiences. Well written, and inspiring. Happy autumn season to you, and your connection to Mother Earth. A. Ev.

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