Harvest Day Traditions

In olden days threshing was backbreaking work, which started early in the mornings and continued until the end of the day with neighbours and friends, all gathering to help out.

The machine, and all the activity about it, had a special attraction for children. Its moving belts, the noise from inside and the way it put out straw and oats, was as intriguing back then as the latest computer game is today.

The harvest time created a sense of urgency, especially before the arrival of the harvesting machinery. Everybody in the community was called out to help, men and women, young and old, master, and neighbours. At other times of the year each group had its own work, the men in the fields, the women in the house, and the children at school.

Only at harvest time did they all come together and engaged in the same work. With fine weather and the promise of abundance, it was only natural that there were jokes, pranks, and general merriment, with the anxious farmer unwilling to dampen the high spirits, but trying to ensure that these did not hold up the work.

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