Giving Thanks for the Harvest

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Adam Navis and Liz Waid tell about harvest festivals around the world. During these festivals people give thanks for the good things in their lives.

Voice 1  

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Adam Navis.

Voice 2  

And I’m Liz Waid. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1  

Somewhere in the world, a farmer plants many seeds into a field. The farmer waters the fields. Soon, after sun, water, and time, the seeds grow into large plants. They are fruits, or vegetables or grain. The plants are full and ready to be used. It is time to take the fruit or vegetable or grain from the plant. It is time for the harvest.

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Voice 2  

The harvest comes at the end of the growing season. This is usually a time when people have enough good food to eat. They eat as much as they want. They prepare and save some for the future when food is rare. But people also do something else at harvest time – they celebrate!

Voice 1  

People around the world celebrate the harvest during harvest festivals. During these festivals they eat good food. But they also give thanks for the great harvest. In today’s Spotlight, we will look at some of the ways people around the world celebrate the harvest and give thanks!

A harvest festival in France
Image by Eric Michelat from Pixabay
Voice 2  

People have been celebrating the harvest for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks and ancient Romans both celebrated the harvest. Ancient Greeks worshipped many gods and goddesses. They held a harvest festival to thank and honor their goddess Demeter. Ancient Romans worshipped a similar goddess called Cerelia. During these festivals, people gathered together to eat and drink. They played games and danced. They brought offerings of food to the goddesses. They hoped that their offerings would please the goddesses so they would have another good harvest the next year.

Voice 1  

Today, people still celebrate the harvest. They still show thanks for the food that grows from the ground.

Voice 2  

In Argentina, in the Mendoza Province, people celebrate the National Grape Harvest Festival. This province grows the fruit grapes. These grapes will be made into wine. Through December, January and February there are special events. One of these events happens on the last Sunday in February. It is a religious ceremony. The Archbishop of Mendoza puts holy water on the first grapes of the season. He thanks God for the harvest. The governor of the area also hits a plow – a tool for harvesting. This represents the end of the harvest. After this, people gather in the streets to watch parades. The celebrations end in early March. This is the main event. There is a show with lights, dancing and music. There are fireworks and even a beauty show. More than twenty thousand people from all around the world attend this event.

Voice 1  

People in China, Taiwan, and Vietnam celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. It is also called the Moon festival or Harvest Moon Festival. The Chinese have celebrated this festival for hundreds of years. It happens on the fifteenth day of the eighth month each year in the Chinese Han calendar. It is called the Moon Festival because the moon is very big and very bright at this time of year.

Voice 2  

The moon is a symbol of unity. During this festival, people gather together with friends and family. They give thanks for the harvest. They give thanks for their relationships. Finally, they pray for a good future.

Moon cakes
Moon cakes, Image by Jason Goh from Pixabay
Voice 1  

During this festival, people also eat a food called Moon Cake. These cakes are round, like the moon. They are a symbol for coming together. People give these cakes to family members and friends. This is a wish for those people to have a long and happy life.

Voice 2  

Another popular harvest festival happens in the United States. People there call it “Thanksgiving”. The origins of this holiday go back hundreds of years. There is no clear record of what truly happened. But the story begins with a group of Pilgrims. The Pilgrims were a group of people from Europe who went to live in North America. They had a very difficult time during their first year there and many of them died. The next year they finally had a good harvest. They were very thankful and they wanted to celebrate. They invited their Native American friends to eat with them. Together the two groups prepared and ate a huge meal of corn, fruits, vegetables, fish and meat.

A painting called “The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth”; (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe
via Wikimedia Commons
Voice 1  

Today, in the United States Thanksgiving is a very important holiday. It happens on the last Thursday of November. Families gather together from far distances. They eat turkey meat, vegetables and sweet desserts. Some play American football and they go to parades.

Voice 2  

In England, the Harvest Festival happens near the harvest moon. This tradition is very old. People in ancient England offered the first part of their harvest as a sacrifice to their fertility gods. Later, they used the last part of the harvest to make a doll. It was a symbol of the goddess of grain.

Voice 1  

England began celebrating their modern Harvest festival in 1853. That year, the leader of a church invited members of the church to a special event to give thanks. Today, people bring fruit and vegetables of the harvest into Christian churches to decorate them. They give food to people in the community who are hungry. It is a time to give thanks for food. It is also a time to share it with people who do not have enough food.

Voice 2  

Many countries around the world have harvest festivals. They give thanks for the food they have grown that year. They hope that the harvest will be as good or better the next year. Harvest time is also a good time to think about other things that people are thankful for – shelter, family, friends, health, love, and more.

Voice 1  

At harvest time, who do we thank for these things? Many harvest festivals have religious importance. People thank God for providing for them. However, many people also show thankfulness to each other. People show thankfulness to other people in many different ways. They can write a note or tell a person thank you for a gift or act. Some people do good things for others who have done good things for them.

Text on a brown background that says "Thankful"
Voice 2

When you think about the harvest and giving thanks for it, whom do you thank? What are you thankful for? Where do the good things in your life come from?

Voice 1  

Do you celebrate a Harvest Festival in your culture? How do you celebrate? Are there special foods or ceremonies? Tell us about it. You can leave a comment on our website. Or email us at radio@radioenglish.net. You can also comment on Facebook at Facebook.com/spotlightradio.

Voice 2  

The writers of this program were Sara DeKoster and Liz Waid. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United States. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This program is called, ‘Giving Thanks for the Harvest’.

Voice 1  

We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.

Question:

What are you thankful for? Where do the good things in your life come from?

Join the discussion

82 comments
  • I just thank God for the good and bad things in my life ‘
    The good things in my life com from family and friends around me .In our culture we do not celebrate the harvest but at harvest time we distribute some of the harvest to the poor people. It is not a celebration exactly, but rather we prepare a kind of sweetness made from wheat and we distribute it to neighbors, friends, family and the poor.

    • in my city Jazan we have harvest festivals to fol she is It is a fragrant flower used for decoration and add to anther harvest festivals to Ben in used in coffee

  • yes we have a festival celebrate in Saudi Arabiya specifically in qassim for dates all men go in the same place and sell or bay the dates when you tasting it i am sure you can say this is incredible . if you ate dates please come and give me your opinion about it , I am so exciting and I am waiting

  • harvest I am grateful with the good health that I have and for the food that I have in my house, the good things that I have come because I am grateful to God and to all the people around me, I always try to be the most grateful with everything that gives me life

  • What are you thankful for?
    I´m grateful for my father, to have an easy life, to be happy, and to be free to do what I want.

    Where do the good things in your life come from?
    Effort, wishes, luck, the universe, I don’t know for sure, but I’m glad that those good things are coming to me.

  • I’m thankful for have my family complete and healthy and the good things in my life came from my family. Actually think that my family is my life.

  • I am grateful for the good and bad things that happen to me since with that I have been able to learn and progress. Good things come from being healthy, a big family that loves me and we always support each other.

  • What are you thankful for? For have a great family
    Where do the good things in your life come from? Every moment

  • I am grateful for having a family and for all that I have been given. Most of us should be grateful to be alive.
    I think the good things in my life come from my family, my friends and myself.

  • For my family, my friends and my studies. Where I live we do not celebrate exactly one day to thank, but we always know what to thank God for the good and bad things.

  • I just thank God for the good in my life
    I am grateful to be with my family and to have a house and food on the table every day.
    They come from my actions and also from the efforts of my parents.

  • I am grateful to God and to my parents. With God for putting good and bad things in my life, which serves as an experience to keep moving forward and with my parents because they are always there for me in my most difficult moments, I thank God for the parents who gave me because they are they are the engine of my life.

  • I am grateful to God for all the moments that I have had, both good and bad since that has forged character and for all the good friends and my family.
    In our culture we do not celebrate the harvest day, but we spend it as a family, with uncles, cousins, brothers, grandparents and even external friends are welcome at home and we celebrate it together.

  • Well, I hardly have anything to be thankful for and the good things in my life don’t know where they come from

  • The Thanksgiving day is only in USA in my country we dont have a similar day, the most similar day is Christmas, i would like to be in a Thanksgiving day

  • Im thankful for all the things that i have and happend in my life
    Those things come from my actions and my decisions that i make with the help of my family

  • What are you grateful for?
    To have a home, family and food.
    Where do the good things in your life come from?
    The good things in my life come from the people I love, be it their attention or material things they give me.

  • I thankful for stay healthy, around of my family and because never was missing a plate of food in my table. And also grateful for the good friends i have. I think the good things in my life come from the be a good person with all my around.

  • I thank God for everything he has given me, the bad paths that have taught me many things and where I have found great friendships that last today, the good times with them and my family, even if we do not celebrate the harvest, we help people when we can in these celebrations and we give thanks for all that we have.

  • First of all I am grateful to God and my parents for giving me everything I have and for everything that has happened throughout my life.
    I think that the good things in my life come from my decisions, attitudes and from the things that my parents have taught and transmitted to me.

  • What are you thankful? Because I have a family who support me in all the things o do
    Where do the good things in your life come from? By my family and my friends

  • I´m thankful for the good of my family and the goods and bad things in my life.
    Ithink that the good things come from the others things that we do all the days and the good actions

  • I am thankful for have my family and be well,
    I think that each person receives what they deserve as a consequence of what they have chosen in life

  • First of all I am thankful to God and my parents for giving me everything I have and for everything that has happened throughout my life.
    I think that the good things in my life come from my decisions, attitudes and from the things that my parents have taught and transmitted to me.

  • It is nice to think that the pilgrim fathers celebrated the bountiful harvest of 1621 on the Plymouth plantation together with the local Native Americans, but even more significant is the hypothesis that it was the members of the local tribe who taught pilgrims how to grow corn, beans and pumpkin. In Italy we don’t have a harvest festival as important as in the United States. For us, the biggest holiday is Christmas and despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the lights begin to be seen in the cities, while the moon is brighter every day and illuminates the countryside that looks like nativity scenes. Heartfelt thanks to Spotlight.

  • I am grateful for the family I have and for the good and bad things that have happened to me, and that I have always thought that everything happens for a reason.
    The good things come from the people around me, both family and best friends.

  • I’m thankful for everything I have in my life right now because has helped me to grow as a person. I think all the good things in my life come from all the effort, experiences and difficult moments.

  • I´m thankful for my family, for the food, job and health. The good things in my life comes from every moment.

  • I’m thankful about my family, friends and for the chance to not worry about any other thing than study. The good things came from my effort, and the effort of my family so that I can have love, support and a quiet life.

  • I am very grateful for 2 things: first, for my family and how I have been cared for since I was a child, and for the things I have had and that I have never lacked anything/ and I know that all I have is because my parents worked so that I can have everything I need, and most importantly I have them.

  • I’m very thankful for having my family next to me and being healthy all. Good things come from each person’s thoughts, if you think positive things, you would attract the same.

  • In my family we do not have this type of celebration. But if we are grateful for the things we have in another way, like helping other people.

  • Im thankful for all the things i have, all things happend in my life, For have a great family
    And great girlfriend, and for my helty.

  • I am grateful for all the things I have, for my family and friends and all the support they give me to be a better person.
    The good things in my life come from the effort we make every day

  • I am grateful because my family is healthy, for another year of life and for all the good things that have happened to me throughout the year and also for the bad because it helps me learn and improve as a person; the good things in my life is my family and health.

  • I´m thankful for my health and that of my family, well because how is it for COVID-19, but we need to be thankful for stay alive,i give thanks for my studies, for the new experiencie that i lived this year.I think the good thinks become from us, like karma, do the rights things and the life will give more.

  • I am grateful to be alive, to have my family complete and healthy, I am also grateful that despite the quarantine I have not lacked anything. I am also grateful for the good and bad things that have happened to me.

  • I am grateful for all the events with my family, my studies, my friends, my girlfriend.
    The good things in life for me come spending time with friends, my family and my girlfriend, draw and listen music.

  • I am grateful for my health and that of my family also for the food, clothes, home, all the experiences I have had and for the education I have, for the life I have and I believe that all this comes thanks to God and for the good deeds I do on a daily basis

  • I am grateful for the good things that life gives, the moments that fill you with happiness and hope for the future. Perhaps this year was not the best for many, but we must not lose hope.

    I think that good things come from ourselves, if you are a negative person you will see everything negative, that is why it is important to have positive hope for the future.

  • I am grateful for having my family, friends and my boyfriend, also for being healthy and studying to improve my future. I think good things come unexpectedly, we will never know why.

  • I am grateful to the people around me and i believe that the good things in life come from the decisions that each person makes

  • I am grateful for many things, especially for my family because thanks to their support I am where I am, I am grateful with life for having given me a good mother and a place to live.
    Good things are reciprocal they come from the good actions that you do because everything in this life comes back.

  • I am thankful for my health, family and home. For having the opportunity to study and work. For having days to celebrate and for my state of mind.
    I think that the good things in my life come from hard work, perseverance and support from my friends and family.

  • I am grateful for my family, for my friends,
    for being healthy,
    for the things that I’ve lived and they make me the person that I am now. And
    some things come from the consequences of my decisions

  • I am thankful for all the things that happend in my life, for stay healthy and my family too, for always have a plate of food and dont miss anything, all the good things in my life come from my family and friends, and although sometimes they are bad things they always support me.

  • Im tankful for the family that God gave me, the food of all the days, the health, and the friends that i have. The good things of my life come from the friends that i have, from my family, and all the people around me. My friends always are there to help me and to have a good time together. My family always were with me since i born, and they always support me to everything that i wanted to do, and im very tankful for have this persons in my life.

  • I am very happy and grateful to have my entire family alive and together, I truly believe that people get what they deserve as many struggle to get ahead.

  • I thank God for everything I have, first of all for having him in my life, for the opportunity to wake up every day, continue with my studies, for having a family, friends, health and food. I believe that all good things come from God and that he uses people to bless others.

  • I’m from Ukraine
    People celebrate Day of Harvest in autumn
    This day all Ukrainians dance, music and eat
    All people are very happy

  • I thank my parents, my brothers, and God for having health and a job, our mother taught us to give thanks for everything good and bad that happens to us in life

  • I am mainly thankful to my parents because thanks to them I have reached where I am and later with my friends who have always been there for me at all times

  • I´m thanfu for my family, the people around me, and how my business is going! it come from the support of those people.

  • hi veryone , how are you , I love the
    festivals , l didn’t celebrating the harvest , but it’s a good things, when we give thanks for any thing , in this moment I starting gives thanks full for all things in my life ❤️❤️❤️

  • Grateful that I have my family, that I have friends, grateful that I am still alive and healthy, thanks to everything that happened to me is thanks to my family and friends who support me, this event does not happen in my country but I have some relatives who celebrate it

  • In my family we Don’t usually celebrate thanks giving like in the US, just eat a non-typical meal that we eat daily or a cake and a prayer.
    But i am grateful to God for everything he has helped me overcome throughout my life, for my health, for my family and friends, i am grateful to each person who teaches me something new and for the things i have in my life.

  • I give thanks for all the good things, although this year was not the best, I think only God knows why things happen and I have to give thanks because I still have my mother and I am here and we are both healthy and we love each other, I hope and what comes are good things

  • I am tankful my parents and brother for always with me.
    The good things in my life come from the family, beacause they always think of the best of me, and that causes good things for me.

  • I am grateful for having a family that loves me and supports me, in addition to being grateful for my health

  • I thank god for the good and bad things that have happened in my life.
    Good things come from my family , friends and everyone who loves me. In my family everyone harvests their land and whenever they help them they give them a part of the harvest , mainily they harvest corn and beans to have their own reserve.

  • I am grateful to be alive and to be able to enjoy being with my friends and family.

    the good things in life come from you, and how you express your feelings, because I think if you show good vibes you will have good vibes

  • I´m thankful for having my family and for being with the studies where I have arrived with a lot of effort. The best things in my life have come with the desire to do them and with a lot of patience and support

  • I am grateful for everything I have in my life, my family, my friends, my house, clothes, for everything. I believe that all the good things that I have in my life is thanks to our actions and because I strive to have it.

  • I´m thankfu for having my family and for being with the studies where I have arrived with a lot of effort. The best things in my life have come with the desire to do them and with a lot of patience and support

  • I am very thankful with God for my family and the great things that they do for me; for my friends and classmates of the University because they have been a great help to me, also for my boyfriend that always he is for me on all; for my oportunities of study, etx.

    All the goods things in my life come from God

  • I am grateful for the health of my family, for the good times we have had, but above all for being alive

  • I appreciate all the good things I have and what happens to me, I believe that all you have is what you attract with your energy and effort

  • I am grateful to be with my families in these difficult times.
    Being able to have a fairly normal life despite my illness.

  • I’m Thankful our God For All things In my life like health , religion(islam) , husband, daughter,mother ,food,…

    Thank you spotlight

  • yes we have a harvest fastival the dates in Sultanate of Oman, in Every year in the summer we harvest dates and sell them in the market.

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