Harvest Festival is a traditional British celebration originating in pagan times, now celebrated in churches and schools throughout the country on a Sunday near the harvest moon - usually towards the end of September and sometimes in October.
With the Harvest Festival we give thanks for the harvest and the food that has been brought in and stored for the winter months ahead. Obviously in years gone by a successful harvest was crucial, and that is why we have similar festivals all around the world, including Canadian Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving in the USA.
It is traditional to bring food to schools and churches (to be distributed to the needy), pray and sing hymns, and, in schools, to use the occasion to learn about the harvest process and farming, and about fruit and vegetables. Many schools and churches now use the Harvest Festival to raise money and awareness for food shortages in developing countries.