Son of the Soil


Each time we fill our plate with food, I think of all those who have toiled hard to make it possible to bring the food from the field to the table. Gratitude is what comes uppermost to my mind. Perhaps that is the reason we have so many festivals in India dedicated to agriculture and farming. The year begins with the onset of uttarayan coinciding with January.  Sankaranti is a harvest festival that honors all that is associated with farming like the farmers, cows, implements etc. Then it is the colorful festival of Holi which celebrates the onset of spring after the cold spell of winter. Farmers pray for a good harvest during the year. Baisakhi celebrated mostly in Punjab in April is a thanksgiving for bountiful harvest. The Hareli festival in July August is also a harvest festival popular in Chattisgarh where tribes worship farming equipment and farm animals. Nuakhai is a harvest festival of Odisha celebrated in August September. The Kut Festival celebrated by tribes in Manipur is a post harvest festival. Bengal and other North Eastern states also have their own local versions of the harvest festival.

So there is so much beauty in this great diverse land where people, whichever place they may belong to, have specific festivals dedicated to harvest. 23rd December is observed as Kisan diwas in India. Africa also has many harvest festivals like the Yam Festival or the Homowo Festival which are all thanksgiving festivals for good harvests. We certainly need to observe these days as our lives are blessed by earth and rain, which give us good food which sustains us.