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Celebrations around the World. INEBI P5 Unit 3: People Around the World. Harvest festivals. In many parts of the world people have Thanksgiving ceremonies and celebrations for a successful harvest. They are ancient customs.

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Celebrations around the World

INEBI P5 Unit 3: People Around the World

Harvest festivals

In many parts of the world people have Thanksgiving ceremonies and celebrations for a successful harvest. They are ancient customs.

In Europe many harvest festivals are celebrated in September at the end of the summer, but the time of celebration is different in different countries and continents.


In Nigeria they celebrate Iriji, the New Yam Festival. Yams are similar to sweet potatoes.

Yam is an important food for the Igbos.

At harvest time, the Igbos give thanks to the ancient gods.

These festivals take place between July and September.

An Igbo festival is celebrated by traditional dances, songs, drumming, masquerades, wrestling and a big feast.

African yams are prepared in many different ways: roasted, boiled, fried, in a soup... A traditional dish is fufu. It is made with mashed yams.

Igbo ceremonial mask


In Britain, people pray, sing and decorate churches.

Corn dollies are typical decorations.

An old tradition is to bake a loaf in the shape of a wheat sheaf. The loaf is taken to the church as a symbol of thanksgiving for the harvest.

The harvest festival is celebrated at the end of September.

In Japan the harvest festival is the rice harvest. It is celebrated in autumn and the first rice is offered to the gods.


There are dances, music, procession of floats with symbolic gods and a huge feast.

In Japan there is a custom of tsukimi or also known as Moon-viewing on September 15. Everyone sets up a table facing the horizon and watch the moon rising. They place food on these tables and offer it to the spirit of the moon.

United States

of America

In the USA one of the most important festivals is Thanksgiving. This is a celebration of the first harvest of the English settlers in America nearly 400 years ago.

The festival is celebrated by many families. They eat turkey, sweet potato, sweet corn, cranberry sauce and sweet pumpkin pie for dessert.

This festival is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November.