Hi, Kit Morgan here and today I want to talk about harvest festivals in the old west. Or anywhere for that matter!
Harvest time has classically been an important event in the year to celebrate bountiful crops. Among the most famous is America’s Thanksgiving, which was originally celebrated in the Plymouth Colony after the successful harvest of the Pilgrims.
For hundreds of years, harvest time has been one of the most important periods of the year, because let’s face it, people were either going to starve or be well fed for the coming year. Traditionally in Britain, local communities appointed a “Lord of the Harvest” who would oversee things such as the gathering of the crops, payment for the farm laborers and of course, a celebratory feast at the end of a good harvest. He got to sit at the head of the table of course!
The Harvest Supper was held on Michaelmas Day and pride of place would be given to a goose stuffed with apples and served with freshly harvested vegetables. Legend has it that Queen Elizabeth I was dining on goose when she heard the news that the Spanish Armada had been defeated, so she declared that goose should henceforth be eaten on Michaelmas Day. Goose Fairs were popular and even today a few still survive, notably the Nottingham Goose Fair which is over 700 years old.
And then we have our pioneer settlers, frontiersmen and farmers who also in one way or another celebrated at harvest time. All hallow’s eve got into the mix along the way and “Spook Hollows” were a fun part of some small town’s (not to mention a few big ones) harvest time festivals. You might have read a western romance that included a harvest festival and spook hollow. I have a book where part of the story is set during an annual harvest festival. Pumpkins and corn mazes, hayrides and yummy food, are all part of many a town’s annual traditions of the harvest festival!
When was the last time you attended a harvest festival? Does your town have one? I’ll pick a random winner from the comments below to receive an e-book copy of The Harvest Time Mail-Order Bride. Here’s a little about the book …
The Weavers. They were boisterous, rambunctious, some would even say wild, and, until recently, unwed. First Arlan, the oldest, got himself a mail-order bride, followed by his younger brother Benjamin. Now it was Benjamin’s identical twin brother Calvin’s turn. But Calvin’s mail-order bride was different, really different. For one, she was Italian, an immigrant who spoke broken English. She was also the most beautiful woman Calvin had ever seen. But this vision of loveliness had a not so lovely secret. Can Calvin and his new bride make a go of it while other secrets threaten the family’s peaceful existence? Find out in this hilarious romp with the Weavers!