Harvest Festival in Germany Date in the current year: October 2, 2016

Harvest Festival in Germany On the first Sunday of October, Germans celebrate the harvest festival known as Erntedankfest, Erntedank or Erntefest. It is somewhat similar to Thanksgiving festivals in other countries because it focuses on thanking the God for the harvest gifts.

Harvest festivals emerged in pre-Christian times. In what would become Germany, harvest festivals were held on different dates in different regions. In 1972, the German Bishop's Conference recommended the official Erntedankfest date, the first Sunday of October. However, in some areas the festival might be held earlier or later.

The typical Thanksgiving celebration in German-speaking countries includes fairs, processions, parades, church services, music and dance. There is also a tradition of choosing the harvest queen and presenting her with the traditional harvest crown. In large cities, the celebrations are often sponsored by Catholic and Protestant churches.

In recent years, German-speaking countries have adopted some of the America's Thanksgiving customs. For example, roast turkey has become a popular dish. But, unlike Thanksgiving in the New World, German harvest festival is popular mostly in the rural areas and is not a national holiday.

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