Thanksgiving is basically a harvest related festival which celebrates communal harmony. Though this festival is said to have been originated in America, a number of other countries also celebrate harvest related festivals. The festival is observed with different names and in different seasons. In Australia we can see a number of harvest festivals. These are listed below:
- Lavender Harvest Festival:
The annual Lavender Festival is organized by the farm’s owner, Evan and Jill Allanson. In Lily Dale (TAS), the first three weeks of the month January is the time for the harvesting of the lavender flowers. Peoples who visit to this festival can learn about the differences between varieties and they learn the uses and properties of lavender. They even purchase some lavender goods. The Mittagong Lavender festival is held at the Farmgate Statford Park, Pearson’s Lane, and Wildes Meadow. This annual Lavender festival is full of fun and a unique experience.
- Hops Festival:
The month of February and March is the time for the harvesting of Hops. Hops are dried in kilns, bleached with sulphur dioxide and pressed into bales. About 90% of Australia’s hops are used for making beer.
- Apple Festival & Grape Festival
The harvest for Apples and Grapes takes place in the month of March in Australia in the granite belt. The festival is celebrated for 3-4 days. During the festival, various cultural and fun events are organised. Activities like Grape crushing competitions, apple competitions, street carnivals, grand parade are also part of the festival. Fireworks are another feature of the festival.
- Renmark Orange week Festival
In August or September, the large orange growing area along the Murray River in South Australia holds a festival in Renmark which is called the Renmark Orange Week. All kind of games, competitions and fun continues for a week during the carnival. The two varieties that are being harvested in Australia are the Valencia which is from October to May and the Navel which is from May to October.
- Cane Festival
The cane is harvested from June to December in Australia. Most of the cane crop is grown in Queensland and some in Maclean, New South Wales. And thus it becomes time for sugar or cane festivals. Just before harvest, the cane is burnt to remove dead leaves and to drive out pests. Machines are being used to cut the cane to the ground.
- Wheat Festival
Wheat is harvested in the month of December and is usually finished by the end of January. Harvesting is done by Machines. A new harvester invented by Headlie Taylor makes easier to harvest crops which get flattened or damaged by bad weather.