Harvest Festival

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Are you celebrating Harvest festival this year? Or Maybe your children are learning about it at school? There are so many fantastic things to make and do to bring the festival alive!

The Harvest festival is a celebration of the crops, fruit and vegetables grown on the land. It is normally celebrated in churches during September or early October. Harvest Festivals are celebrated in various forms right across the world. America has a very important Harvest Festival in the form of its national holiday, Thanksgiving, which is a key date in the American calendar.

Here in the UK, many customs remain from the olden times, including singing hymns and decorating places of worship with the fruits of the land. More recently it has become custom for baskets of food, both fresh and tinned, to be distributed to elderly or poorer members of the community.

Many nurseries, schools and community groups celebrate Harvest Festival and your children might be asked to bring in some food to be shared amongst your local community.

There are a few different things you can make to celebrate Harvest:

Harvest Loaf
You will need:
– A batch of home made dough
– A rolling pin
– Some paints

A plaited bread is a traditional part of the harvest celebrations.

To make up your dough you will need: 1 cup of plain flour, half a cup of salt, 1 tablespoon of oil, 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar and one cup of water. Mix all the ingredients together and mix till smooth. Put the mixture into a saucepan and cook on a medium heat, stirring constantly. Allow the dough to cool off and then place on a wipe-clean surface so you can wipe up any crumbs easily. Your child can then roll out lengths of dough to plait over each other in the style of a traditional harvest loaf. Paints can then be used to decorate the dough.

Apple Candle Holder
You will need:
– Large Apple/Apples
– Church Candle
– Apple Corer
– Lemon Juice

You can make some really attractive centre pieces for your table using shiny red apples, ideal for a harvest festival feast!

our child will need some careful adult supervision with this activity. Firstly help your child to make a hole about halfway through the apple, using a peeler or corer. Make the hole as straight as possible and not too big – your candle will need to sit snugly inside the hole, with no gaps so it can topple over. Place the candle inside. Then, very carefully, help your child to carve designs into the apple using the potato peeler. To stop the apple designs turning brown, rub a little lemon juice over the apple.

We hope your and your children have a lovely Harvest / Harvest Festival!

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