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Autumn. Autumn. The months that make up Autumn are September, October and November. In England there are many special days and festivals associated with Autumn. The two main ones which we have already looked at are Halloween and Guy Fawkes but there are more. Harvest Festival.

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  • The months that make up Autumn are September, October and November.
  • In England there are many special days and festivals associated with Autumn.
  • The two main ones which we have already looked at are Halloween and Guy Fawkes but there are more.
harvest festival
Harvest Festival
  • Harvest Festival happens in September.
  • It comes from an ancient Pagan festival where on the last day of the harvest the Pagans would give thanks for a good harvest.
  • There would be a big feast on the last day of the harvest to celebrate which would include all the seasonal food which had been harvested.
corn dollies
Corn Dollies
  • Another part of the Pagan Festival was making Corn Dollies.
  • This was because the Pagans believed there was a Corn Spirit who helped the corn to grow well.
  • The Corn Dolly would be made from the last sheath of corn cut.
  • The spirit would live in the Corn Dolly until the following year when it would come out to ensure another good harvest.
Once Christianity became the main religion it continued to be celebrated in Churches and schools.
  • Seasonal food would be brought to Church and school to put on display.
  • After the celebration of the festival this food is donated to people who need it.
  • This tradition continues today.
remembrance day
Remembrance Day
  • Every year Remembrance Day is celebrated on 11th November.
  • This is because on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month (11am on 11th November) in 1918 an armistice was signed to end the First World War.
  • This day then became known as Armistice Day to celebrate the end of the war and remember those whose lives it claimed.
After the Second World War Armistice Day was renamed Remembrance Day to remember all those who died in both wars.
  • Remembrance Sunday is usually the Sunday following 11th November.
  • Across the country there are services at every war memorial.
  • The Queen always lays the first wreath of poppies at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London.
remembrance sunday
Remembrance Sunday
  • This ceremony is still very important today because of ongoing wars around the world.
  • The wreath laying ceremony is always followed by two minutes of silence in respect of those who have died in wars.
  • This is then followed by a poem called ‘The Ode of Remembrance’
the ode of remembrance
The Ode of Remembrance
  • They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.
  • Poppies are the symbol of Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday.
  • It is normal to buy one from army officers and pin it to your coat. The money goes to charity.
  • The wreaths laid at the war memorials are also poppies.
The reason for using poppies is also from the First World War.
  • A lot of fighting took place in Belgium. There was a place in Belgium called Flanders Field that was devastated by the war and fighting. Where there were once homes and farms was completely destroyed.
  • Only one thing survived and this was the poppy plants. Every year they flowered and bought life, hope, colour and reassurance to those still fighting.
in flanders field
In Flanders Field
  • Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was fighting at Flanders Field during the First World War and witnessed the poppies growing despite the ongoing conflict.
  • He wrote the following poem which is still read at every Remembrance Sunday service.
In Flanders fields the poppies blowBetween the crosses, row on row,That mark our place; and in the skyThe larks, still bravely singing, flyScarce heard amid the guns below.We are the Dead. Short days agoWe lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,Loved and were loved, and now we lie,In Flanders fields.Take up our quarrel with the foe:To you from failing hands we throwThe torch; be yours to hold it high.If ye break faith with us who dieWe shall not sleep, though poppies growIn Flanders fields.
  • A very traditional English game associated with Autumn is conkers.
  • A conker comes from a horse chestnut tree.
  • They fall from the tree when they are ripe in Autumn.
playing conkers
Playing Conkers
  • You pick a ripe conker, make a hole in it and thread a piece of string through.
  • Each player has a conker and you take turns in hitting each others.
  • The loser is the player whose conker is destroyed or falls off the string first.
world conker championship
World Conker Championship
  • The first recorded game of conkers was in 1848.
  • Now, the World Conker Championship is held every year on the second Sunday in October in Northamptonshire in England.