Monday, October 17, 2016

Harvest: A Human Connection

By Tamara Rockiki

Harvest festivals are representative of our own personal growth, and the need to share our successes. They center around abundance and community, and in this day and age of limited face-to-face connection, they remind us of the importance of celebrating that which we’ve done to get us where we are. This week, as an inspiration to share and grow from our personal harvests, we will be sharing stories of harvest traditions around the world, such as the olive harvest festival which has been celebrated in the township of Magione, Italy, since 2001.  

Stephanie Spavento of the The Perpetual Explorer writes that this festival takes place on November 23rd, in conjunction with the feast of St. Clement, the patron saint of metalworkers and blacksmiths.  It celebrates the production and consumption of the local oil, which happens to be some of the world’s best. The entire town is invited to enjoy the festivity.  Dotting the streets are several workshops, food markets, art contests, wine tasting, and various entertainment.  

The National Geographic book, “Sacred Places of a Lifetime” shares that the climax of this festival is a special Mass where the priest blesses the newly produced oil.  Afterward, an extravagant banquet is held in the town’s 12th century medieval castle.

This festival, like many others around the world, is an example of how agricultural harvests have impacted social structure.  What was born out of bare necessity for survival, forged a human connection still felt to this day.  Around the world, harvests like the one in Magione bring together the best of humanity.  Agricultural harvest has always been the staple of existence, since the first Mesopotamian harvests.  With it, human interaction was created in order to work together for the common goal of survival.  When the harvest yielded fruitful rewards, that same human collaboration turned into gratefulness and serenity.  From it spawned the tradition of thanksgiving, of togetherness, and of unity. 

As the twenty-first century marks the peak of modernization and instant results, the importance of harvest is something that goes beyond supporting local agriculture and healthier living.  It is a staple human connection we must not lose.  Forgetting the importance of harvest celebrations means losing a part of our history, a way to connect with others in a more personal way, and the humility of hard work and dedication. 

The article Social Relationships and Health, published by American Association for the Advancement of Science, states that lack of social connection can lead to obesity, smoking, and high blood pressure.  It seems that the same social connection that helped shape early societies through the necessity of farming, is equally important in the way it affects us to this day. 

The ancient harvest traditions were crucial in ensuring human survival.  Growing and thriving is a recurring theme for those communities that flourished into major cities.  As agrarian societies were formed, so were the cultural guidelines and connection that would enable their prosperity.

Like the harvest celebration in Magione, our own local celebrations carry the human connection to be passed down to future generations. 

How has your local or personal harvest brought you closer to others? How do you harvest a connection with society, and how will it inspire your future and future communities?

Share this:

Post a Comment

Back To Top
Copyright © 2014 Mind Key, the blog. Designed by OddThemes