Celebrations And Holidays, Harriet

It’s that time of year when our gardens are full of autumnal produce, from courgettes and runner beans to apples and blackberries, and our thoughts turn to the harvest. If you remember singing ‘We Plough the Fields and Scatter’ and digging a variety of old tins out of your cupboards for the Salvation Army collection, you’ve probably celebrated the Harvest Festival in the UK. Harvest celebrations are some of our country’s oldest traditions, the pagan festivities of the Harvest Moon long predating the church ceremonies introduced in the 19th Century. Given the importance of a good crop to the survival of a community it isn’t surprising that parties and ceremonies celebrating the harvest appear all over the world. Here are 7 of the most interesting traditions you will find across the globe.

1. Crop Over – Barbados
(photo source)
Colourful costumes in Crop Over celebrations

Crop Over is a vibrant harvest festival celebrated through June and July in Barbados which dates way back to 1688 in colonial times on the sugar cane plantations. It originally celebrated the sugar harvest, and has been revived in the past few decades for a new generation.  This is a real party season and the biggest national festival in Barbados, featuring parades, heritage events, concerts, and culminating in a huge calypso competition where entrants compete for the title of Pic-O-De-Crop Calypso Monarch. The festival caught the global eye in recent years as popular Bajan musicians Rupee and Rihanna have joined in the festivities, and the events pull in thousands of tourists every year making millions of dollars for the country’s economy.

2. Chuseok – Korea
(photo source)
Charye table offering food to ancestors

As in the UK, in Korea the harvest is celebrated on and around the autumn equinox. It is a major holiday known as Chuseok, and lasts for three days during which special memorial rites are performed for the ancestors and time is spent with the family. As a good harvest is attributed to a blessing from the ancestors, the family will usually hold a memorial service honouring back four generations. This is known as Charye, and involves offering a variety of food dishes as an offering which are arranged in a particular layout on a table and a special tea ceremony. Other memorial rites such as visiting and cleaning graves also occur at this time.

3. Bénichon – Switzerland
(photo source)
Rindya - the villagers return with their animals from high mountain pastures

Usually taking part on the second Sunday of September (although this varies by region), Bénichon is a harvest and thanksgiving festival which is celebrated in some catholic parts of Switzerland. It is also combined with Rindya, which is the day when people return with their animals from high altitude alpine pastures in preparation for the coming Winter.  Traditionally at this time the farmers and villagers would thank God for blessing their harvest, but this has grown to become a popular folk festival which focusses largely on feasting and spending time with family. The traditional Bénichon feast includes a local bread called Cuchaule, bouillon, lamb, cheese, waffles, fruit, and much more.

4. Maras Taun – Malaysia
(photo source)
The sharing of Lepat at Maras Taun

Maras Taun is a Malay harvest festival, from the Belitung dialect words for ‘cutting’ and ‘year’. It is usually held in April around Belitung Island, after the rice harvest, and is also celebrated by fisherman to give thanks for their fishing success. The celebration lasts on average three days, and is celebrated with a special dance symbolising cooperation during the rice harvest. Malaysia is a Muslim country, and the village elders lead the people in prayer and bless special sacred leaves known as daun hati-hati  or daun kesalan. These leaves bring good luck to the islanders who spread them around their homes and boats. The village chief also distributes steamed rice cakes called Lepat, symbolising that the leader must always serve the citizens

5. Saviour of the Apple Feast Day – Russia, Ukraine, Belarus
(photo source)
An Orthodox priest blesses the apples

Also known as Saviour on the Hill, August 19th in Eastern Slavic countries is the Saviour of the Apple Feast Day, celebrating the fruit harvest. Celebrators eat a variety of dishes containing apples, and although the festival is now associated with the Orthodox church and the Transfiguration of Christ, it was celebrated long before its Christian origins. According to tradition, if on this day you make a wish on the last bite whilst eating an apple, it will come true. In Russia, apple fairs are held which include folk singing and dancing in traditional costume, as well as stalls well stocked with apples. In 2010, traffic police in Rostov-on-Don joined in the festivities by issuing apples and driving codes of conduct instead of the usual fines.

6. New Yam Festival – Nigeria
(photo source)
A yam harvest in Ghana, where many Igbo people also reside

In Nigeria, the Igbo communities hold a harvest festival known as Iwa ji, or the New Yam Festival.  As an important crop to the region and the first to be harvested of the year, this is an important cultural celebration for the Igbo people and is full of tradition. Only dishes containing yam are served on the day of the festival, with the first yam of the day being eaten by either the king or the oldest man in the community. Yams are also offered to god and the ancestors to thank them for the successful harvest and pray for more to come. Community display is also a big part of the festival, involving folk dancing, parades, and parties.

7. Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia – Argentina
(photo source)
The Central Act at the Frank Romero Greek Theatre

Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia is an Argentinian festival held in early March in Mendoza City, celebrating the grape harvest, wine, and the winemaking industry. Each of the 18 departments of Mendoza have their own festivities, which all lead up to the big Central Act held in the Frank Romero Greek Theatre.  The festivities of the celebration follow a fixed pattern every year, starting with the Blessing of the Fruits on the last Sunday in February.  After that, events revolve around the selection of a “Reina Nacional de la Vendimia”, or National Grape Harvest Queen, which involves huge parades and women from every department of Mendoza. The Central Act involves over 1000 actors and dancers, and the sky is filled with laser shows and fireworks. It is unsurprising that this magnificent show fills the 20,000 seats of the venue, and it is estimated that over 50,000 people gather in the surrounding hills to get a glimpse of the show.

Harriet works in the Primrose marketing team, mainly on online marketing.

She’s a big fan of reading, TV quiz shows, and is a highly experienced user of gardens (especially when it involves lounging outside on a sunny afternoon).

As a trivia lover whose favourite book when growing up was an illustrated factopedia (true story), she likes to write for the blog about interesting things she has found out whilst wandering the internet.

See all of Harriet’s posts.

Harriet, Sail Shades, TV

Beautiful seating area with Primrose sail shade

Another week and another fantastic episode of ITV’s Love Your Garden to hit our screens. Last night we adored watching the inspiring Sabina Iqbal and her husband Asif get treated to a gorgeous garden makeover, featuring a pair of our very own shade sails! The couple were hugely deserving of the garden treatment, both active in doing outstanding charity work in the deaf community, as well as raising three small children.

The Iqbals’ huge garden was spacious but the couple lacked the time to make it into the relaxing space they deserved, so Alan Titchmarsh and his team totally transformed the area into a Bollywood-inspired paradise!

Features of the garden included a striking water feature centrepiece, plenty of space for the children to play in, and even an outdoor kitchen (we’re really jealous – that looked amazing!). The Indian theme meant bright jewel tones were the order of the day, and our vibrant orange Kookaburra shade sails looked fantastic above the comfortable seating area on the expansive deck.

“The perfect place for the family to throw the huge parties they love, or just kick back and relax in the shade”

Alan described the deck as “the perfect place for the family to throw the huge parties they love, or just kick back and relax in the shade”, and we couldn’t agree more.

We’re really glad that the family loved their well deserved garden makeover, and can’t wait to see the transformations in the rest of the series.

Find more information on our shade sails and how to get your own here.

The LYG team celebrate their hard work on the deck
The LYG team celebrate their hard work on the deck

Harriet works in the Primrose marketing team, mainly on online marketing.

She’s a big fan of reading, TV quiz shows, and is a highly experienced user of gardens (especially when it involves lounging outside on a sunny afternoon).

As a trivia lover whose favourite book when growing up was an illustrated factopedia (true story), she likes to write for the blog about interesting things she has found out whilst wandering the internet.

See all of Harriet’s posts.

Harriet, How To, Primrose Gardens

How to get started with Primrose Gardens

We all know the amount of hard work that goes into creating your dream garden, but did you know that there’s a very easy way to share the results?

In 5 minutes or less you can create your very own Primrose Gardens profile – it’s absolutely free and gives you a great space where your photos can be seen by friends, family, and even the world! Not only that, but you can easily browse, follow, and comment on other gardens, giving you a never ending source of outdoor inspiration. Want to get started? Here’s what to do!

 

Get started by making a profile

1. Make Your Profile

Simply go to gardens.primrose.co.uk and click ‘Start building a website for your garden’.

All you need is your name, email address, and a name for your garden. You can be really creative, but we’re happy with just your name too! A Primrose Gardens profile is free and once you’ve signed up you’re ready to get started with all of our features.

If you’ve already created a profile, just click ‘Login’.

 

Add some features to your profile

2. Create Some Features

Profiles on Primrose Gardens are split up into features – albums which helpfully organise the photos you want to show off.

We’ll give you a few examples when you sign up but these features can be called anything you like to best reflect your unique garden.

There’s no limit to the number of features you can have and you can order them on your profile however you like!

 

 

3. Get Uploading Your PhotosStart uploading some photos to your profile

Once you’ve completed the first two steps you can already start uploading!

There are two ways to do this:
– Upload straight from the website – just go to the feature you want the photos to go into, click the ‘Upload photos’ button and follow the instructions.
– Use our mobile app to snap photos and post them to your profile. Available for iOS & Android, it can also be used to post photos which you already have on your phone.

 

4. Explore and commentEasily browse and comment on other profiles

Now that your profile is taking shape, take a look around our garden community to see what other people are posting! Click ‘Recent Posts’ at the top of the page to see the latest uploads to the site.

If you see a garden which inspires you, let the owner know! Just click comment to communicate with other users – perhaps you’d like to get their tips on how they keep their flowerbeds flourishing, help them out with their garden queries, or just let them know you love their garden.

 

Share photos to social media platform of your choice5. Share with us!

Proud of your garden photos and want to show them off to the world?

Send us the link to your profile and we’ll share our favourites on our Facebook page. Keep an eye on our social media for competitions and your garden might even win a prize!

What are you waiting for? Get to gardens.primrose.co.uk to create your free profile now, and start sharing your hard work!


Harriet works in the Primrose marketing team, mainly on online marketing.

She’s a big fan of reading, TV quiz shows, and is a highly experienced user of gardens (especially when it involves lounging outside on a sunny afternoon).

As a trivia lover whose favourite book when growing up was an illustrated factopedia (true story), she likes to write for the blog about interesting things she has found out whilst wandering the internet.

See all of Harriet’s posts.

Competitions, Hampton Court Flower Show, Harriet

Garden Story Contest - Winner!

We really enjoyed reading your garden stories in our competition – thank you to everyone who sent one in! It was a tough decision, but we would like to say congratulations to our winner Lorraine F. who sent us this touching story about how she got into gardening:

I’m a patio/balcony gardener as well as studying gardening and I’m also disabled with my knee. My Mum never, ever thought I would stick with gardening after a Cousin of mine set me a challenge in May 2014 to grow some tomatoes and I was scared stiff lol.

Hence over a year later I am hooked on gardening, I don’t even have my nail extensions no more nor extensions in my hair I’m just all natural now thanks to my gardening and proving my Mum wrong.

Gardening is also good for bipolar sufferers to well it’s helped me so now I’m helping the Mentally ill adults to do gardening to with the Master Gardener Project to give something back for how gardening has helped me. I’m even running a gardening group on Facebook to show you can do gardening even in the smallest space.

Lorraine won two tickets for the show, and has shared some fantastic photos with us which we have loved looking through! Here are some of our favourites:

Harriet works in the Primrose marketing team, mainly on online marketing.

She’s a big fan of reading, TV quiz shows, and is a highly experienced user of gardens (especially when it involves lounging outside on a sunny afternoon).

As a trivia lover whose favourite book when growing up was an illustrated factopedia (true story), she likes to write for the blog about interesting things she has found out whilst wandering the internet.

See all of Harriet’s posts.

Share!