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Because of our shared agricultural background, harvest festivals are celebrated worldwide, often throughout the year. Typically involving feats of local bounties, these celebreations served an important cultural function in most societies as towns and villages would prepare for the long winter ahead. In America, the most famous harvest holiday is of course Thanksgiving, but many local and regional festivals and events are held each with their own traditions and types of cuisines. Trivia fact: Harvest is from the Old English word hærfest, meaning "Autumn".