Harvest Festival is a traditional celebration of the end of the farmers’ harvests ~ a time to give thanks for the crops and the food that we eat. It is not a public holiday but it is recognised in most churches and schools in the UK. The date is calculated to be at the time of the so-called ‘harvest moon’, which is the full moon that occurs closest to the Autumn equinox.
Schools, particularly primary schools, will sometimes arrange for their pupils to go to the local church during the weeks before or after the specified Sunday for Harvest Festival, or the vicar will visit the school. The children are usually asked to bring in a small donation of food to add to a collection which will subsequently be handed out to old people, the homeless or the poor.