Knowing how to grow nutritious food is crucial to millions of people around the world. Here we meet communities across Africa, Asia, South America, the Middle East and the Caribbean as they celebrate a successful harvest.
Sep 20 2019
As communities across the UK get together to mark one of our most important traditions, we’re looking at how other countries celebrate their harvests – and the food that's often critical for giving children a strong start to life.
In Uganda, farming is crucial for harvesting delicacies such as coffee and onions. There is even a harvest season for grasshoppers – the salty and crunchy local delicacy that locals eat fresh, boiled or fried.
Communities in the north of the country are currently welcoming refugees from South Sudan. For those fleeing conflict, the loss of harvest can be catastrophic, especially for children who can't get nutritious food.
To help support the new arrivals, Action Against Hunger has set up kitchen gardens to help parents feed their families. This also helps them to celebrate harvest at a time when they can’t access their own land.
Nabanna is a celebration of creativity and culture celebrated with food, dance and music. With Bengali cuisine at its heart, Nabanna brings together people from all religious groups, inclduing poets, musicians, cultural activists and painters.
For Rohingya refugees based in Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh, displaced families from Myanmar plant their own vegetable gardens for food, and also work in the gardens of others for income to meet urgent food needs.
The gardens generate livelihoods, as well as organic, healthy food from harvests.
One of Colombia’s most renowned harvest celebrations is La Tomatina. It’s a famous food fight which takes place every June that sees the local community celebrating their harvest by throwing surplus tomatoes at one another. It follows the example of the world-famous Tomatina in Buñol, Spain.
Beautiful and fertile, Colombia has ideal land for harvesting a rich variety of foods. Crops of beans, potatoes, granadillas and wheat are grown in the school of Chuguldí, Samaniego’s demonstration garden - a project supported by Action Against Hunger.
In different parts of South Sudan, communities celebrate harvest with music, dancing and wrestling matches. However, war, food insecurity and the 2017 famine has left the world’s youngest country in a serious food crisis. In some areas, armed groups burn or seize local harvests, and hundreds of thousands of families have become refugees or displaced as a result of ongoing violence. Seven million are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection.
In Bahr el Ghazal, where food insecurity has affected families and local communities, kitchen gardens have been crucial to warding off the threat of starvation.
Yams are a hugely important crop in the Caribbean. That’s why rural Haitians celebrate the Mange Yam Festival at the end of November, decorating their carts by painting the horns of their bull on them. They also offer yams to their ancestors and local gods in prayer for a good harvest next year.
Haiti faces many challenges, including climate change, floods, droughts, cyclones and earthquakes, with 3.3 million people in rural areas struggle to maintain their livelihoods. They’re often forced to sell their land and fall into a cycle of poverty. We’ve been digging ponds so that farmers can access water for their micro-gardens – a way for them to get water even in dry months. We’ve also trained the community to maintain the ponds for years to come.
In the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the October olive harvest festival is celebrated by thousands of families. The trees are not just a source of income for people, they're also a symbol of steadfastness and peace, and have been an important part of Palestinian life and culture for centuries.
More than 1 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are facing a hunger crisis, so sources of organic and healthy food are extremely important. This includes Abd Alla – a greenhouse farmer and father of five sons. They depend on their greenhouse for their income, but due to damage during the 2014 war they weren’t able to use it for farming. Action Against Hunger rebuilt the greenhouse to help Abd Alla and his sons resume their work and cultivate their greenhouse with tomatoes.
Harvest is a celebration of food, and how it brings us together. If you love harvest, you’ll enjoy Love Food Give Food.
Love Food Give Food is a campaign run by Action Against Hunger which turns your love of dining into donations/vital support for others across the world who struggle to feed their children. Every £1 donated means one day’s worth of life-saving, therapeutic food to treat a child suffering from life-threatening hunger. Any more than that can support families to grow their own food, access clean water and get the healthcare they need.
Eat well, do good.
Find out how you can get involved