Without the ability to grow and harvest crops, permanent civilizations would not have developed. Because societies were dependent on cultivating their crops for food, storage, and trade, harvesting became a sacred event in many cultures. Ancient people believed spirits lived within their crops, and went to great lengths to appease these beings. Although modern thought has evolved since that era, the significance of the harvest has hardly been lost. From the New Yam Festival in Africa to the Jewish Sukkot to Thanksgiving Day in the United States, the majority of cultures throughout the world have set aside days to celebrate times of bounty. ""Thanksgiving and Other Harvest Festivals"" looks at how the regions of Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and North America pay homage to the harvest and everything it represents.
Ann Morrill is a freelance writer, occasional bilingual editor, and adjunct college Spanish instructor living in Colorado. Her published writing includes poetry, opinion pieces, Spanish-language phonics books, conservation articles, and creative nonfiction. She has an M.A. in Latin American studies from the University of New Mexico and a B.A. in history from Carleton College.