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The harvest festival in Germany - a religious festival

In Germany, the traditional thanksgiving celebration is a religious festival held after the harvest to thank God for the gifts of nature essential to our survival. Altars decorated with bountiful harvest offerings symbolise the festival, with harvest wreaths and crowns made of grain stalks adorning the church halls.
Like many other ancient customs, the harvest rituals have been adopted by the Church. Festivals of thanksgiving following the harvest have been celebrated for very long time. Jews observe the Feast of Tabernacles and the Roman religions also had similar ceremonies. For Catholic Germany, the first Sunday of October was set as the day for celebrating the thanksgiving festival at a Catholic Bishops' Conference in 1972.
However, the Protestant Church uses the Michaelmas festival on the 29th of September to determine when to give thanks for the completed harvest, while in the United States, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated at the end of November. After the festivities, harvest offerings are frequently distributed to people in need.
Most religions agree that "the fruit of the earth and work of human hands", as it says in the Eucharist, should be considered a gift of God. At thanksgiving, a small table with harvested fruit, vegetables and a harvest wreath is set up in an appropriate spot. Farmers commemorate the trials and toil of the year gone past at lavishly decorated harvest banquets, where festive seasonal food, homemade bread and vegetable stew are served. Elements of thanksgiving also play a part in associated festivities, such as mountain cattle drives and grape harvest festivals, as well as in other religious festivals in late autumn. Harvest processions featuring some of the ancient harvest rituals still take place in some parts of Germany today.