Harvest Festivals and Harvest Thanksgiving

At the beginning of autumn, usually around the first weekend in October, houses and streets in many parts of Germany are adorned with fruit, vegetables and ears of corn. Front gardens are decorated with straw dolls. Carts and barrows, bedecked in a similar fashion, are pulled through the streets by men, women and children dressed in traditional costume, and everyone gets together for a big party. The reason for the festivities, which often last for several days, is “Erntedank” – Harvest Thanksgiving – which this year falls on 1 October.