Giving thanks around the world
Celebrations in the United Kingdom
While the United Kingdom doesn't make it a national holiday, its Harvest Festival is one the oldest celebrations in the UK. It dates back to pre-Christian times when farmers offered their first sheaf of corn and an animal sacrifice to gods of fertility. The tradition of celebrating the festival in church began in 1843 when the Rev. Robert Hawker invited parishioners to a special thanksgiving service at his church. Now, communities decorate churches with produce for a special harvest service. Families gather for feast similar to those of American Thanksgiving dinners.