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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone, I'm Gina.
In September we harvest the crops that have grown throughout the year and the Harvest Festival is a celebration of the food that we have cultivated in the land.
In this lesson, you're going to learn about what the Harvest Festival means to the UK.
The word 'Harvest' comes from the Old English word 'haerfest'. What does 'haerfest' mean?
We’ll show you the answer at the end of this video.
Traditionally, the Harvest Festival is held on or near the Sunday of the Harvest Moon. The Harvest Moon is the full moon that is closest to the autumnal equinox. Two times out of three this falls within September, but on those rare occasions it occurs in October.
In the UK, the main places that celebrate the Harvest Festival are churches and schools. Churches decorate with baskets of fruit and other produce and say prayers and sing hymns to give thanks for previous successful harvests and hope for continued success in the future. It is not a public holiday, but is still an important date in the calendar in the UK.
Schools may hold assemblies that are similar to the church services, but they also ask students to bring food to the school. The food is then parcelled up so that it can then be distributed to those less fortunate as the Harvest Festival is also about helping those in need as much as possible.
Although Harvest celebrations can be traced back to pagan festivals, the modern Harvest Festival began in 1843 when parishioners in Cornwall were invited to a thanksgiving service by the Reverend at that time.
And now I'll give you the answer to the earlier quiz.
The word 'Harvest' comes from the Old English word 'haerfest'. What does 'haerfest' mean?
‘Haerfest' is the Old English word for 'autumn'. The meaning evolved, however, and it came to mean the season for reaping and gathering grain.
How was this lesson? Did you learn something interesting?
Do you have any Harvest Festivals in your country?
Leave us a comment at EnglishClass101.com. And we'll see you in the next lesson!