Friday, October 24, 2008

Harvest Festivals

Myths, folklore, & symbolism
harvest festivals: The modern Harvest Festival, so well known to churchgoers and schoolchildren, where the church or school stage is piled high with produce and thanks are given in prayer, sermon, and hymns, is often thought to be ancient but owes its origin to Victorian reforming zeal. Revd R. S. Hawker, vicar of Morwenstow in Cornwall, invented it in 1843, and as the idea was just right for the mood of the times, Festivals spread rapidly throughout the country. The custom obviously has intrinsic values of its own which commended it to other congregations, but there were some ministers who also saw in the new Harvest Festival a way of replacing the older farm-based Harvest Supper celebrations which were sometimes an excuse for excessive drinking, eating, and dancing." (Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore)

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