Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Pronunciation: \-ˈmi-tənt\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin intermittent-, intermittens, present participle of intermittere
Date: 1601
: coming and going at intervals : not continuous ; also : occasional
— in·ter·mit·tent·ly adverb
Source: Mirriam-Webster Online Dictionary
Retrieved 2 December 2010

The US version of harvest festival, Thanksgiving, happens tomorrow. It celebrates a mythical event in the early days of European immigration to the "new" world and serves as a harvest festival. Most of us will be busy, schools will be closed, more than 10% of us will travel to be with family, and, if we can afford it, we'll share a traditional meal.

Harvest festivals are not unique to the US. Canada celebrates on the 2nd Monday in October (harvest comes a bit earlier in Canada than in the US). Nearly all farming cultures celebrated harvests. In many countries, those celebrations have evolved into holidays for non-agricultural socieiies.

In the UK, Harvest Home is observed at the time of the full moon nearest the autumn equinox (late September or early October).

Peasant communities in Russia celebrated harvest time, and farmers still do.

The Chinese Moon Festival also takes place near the autumn equinox. Its origins can be traced back nearly 3,000 years.

The Yoruba in Nigeria recognize Ikore as a harvest festival.

Mehrgan or the Persian Festival of Autumn has been celebrated since pre-Islamic times. Because of the complex cultural history, modern observations have been on October 2nd.

Celebrate in your own way. The blog will resume next week.

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