Autumn is upon us (in the UK anyway) and so is the time of harvest. In fact, did you know that the Old English word “haerfest” actually means “autumn”? Yes, indeed, and for those of you looking for some harvest festival printables for your children to help celebrate, we’ve assembled ours below.
When is Harvest Festival (UK)?
Harvest Festival is celebrated on the nearest Sunday to the Harvest Moon (that’s the full moon nearest to the September equinox). This year in the United Kingdom, the Harvest Festival Feast will fall on Sunday 4th October 2020. (The equinox is actually the day after, on the 23rd.) However, harvest celebrations in general take place over several days, so it doesn’t really matter when you have yours. Traditionally, it was never held after Michaelmas Day on the 29th September though, because that’s when the church decided that the Harvest Festival period should officially end. The idea was that all the crops had to be brought in before St Michael’s Mass and that parishes would then gather in their churches to give thanks. These days, dates are not as strict.
That said, traditions surrounding bringing in the harvest predate Christianity, in the UK going back to at least Saxon times. Some of the very old traditions are feasting, dancing and playing games. Making corn dollies was also popular, which were carefully kept in people’s homes as a tribute to the Spirit of the Corn or Goddess of the Grain, in the hope that he or she would make sure there was a good harvest the following year. Not all corn dollies were made in the shape of a doll mind you, some were woven to look like bells, crosses, knots, spirals and animals such as hares and horses. Different parts of the country often had their own corn dolly traditions.
All in all, Harvest Festival time was a chance to come together and have fun, to be thankful for whatever the land had supplied, and to lift people’s spirits and put them in a positive frame of mind, ready to get through the winter.
After all that of course, we’re in the run up to Halloween…
Of course, some of the printables above are also useful for Thanksgiving.
Although dwindling in popularity compared to Halloween, the 5th of November is still celebrated in many parts of the UK. We’ve created a handful of printables with this in mind and whether it’s “Bonfire Night”, “Guy Fawkes Night” or “Fireworks Night” in your house, we hope you find them useful.
Remember, Remember Scrolls
If you’re looking for a printable version of that famous Guy Fawkes Night chant, ours are below. They’re a great way to add to the 5th of November decorations.
Not long now until that spooky time of year – so we’ve collected a few of our favourite Halloween printables together below. Some are popular every year, others are new additions. Whatever you’re doing on the 31st of October, we hope you have a frighteningly good time!
No Trick or Treat Posters
Trick or treating is great fun but it’s fine not to want to take part. You don’t need to give your reasons to opt out but one of the best ways to let trick or treaters know it’s not for you is to put a light-hearted notice up in your window. Here are a few which might help you out.
Hello! As you’ll know if you’re a regular visitor to this site, we add new printable colouring pages whenever we can. Here are our latest offerings, many of which have been created with the upcoming season of autumn in mind. We hope you find them useful and that if your children are heading back to school this September, they have a great term.
As our site is getting quite big these days, we thought we’d kick off October by posting a list of our most popular Halloween printables. (They’re all free.) Hope you have fun browsing through them, and that you find something useful for you and your family to enjoy.
These friendly rhymes with a witchy theme are great fun to decorate your home with on Halloween. They all say lovely things and are a novel way to entertain any Halloween visitors you might have, especially children. Just print, cut out and hang them wherever you feel like it – on doors, fridges, walls etc – and make your guests smile. They also make great little give-aways for Halloween party bags.
Don’t forget to check off those Halloween chores! Perhaps this monster chore chart will encourage the children to give you a hand. We have a number of other colourful chore charts too, including a Witchy Chore Chart, which is popular with girls.
Halloween bunting is a nice, easy way to decorate for Halloween, just print it out, fold, then glue or staple over string. It’s a good one for the kids to do with you – we find that ours like this scardy cat bunting best!
Our paper leaves are ever so popular, at Halloween, Thanksgiving, Harvest festival or any other autumnal occasion. To get the best out of making ours, you can check out this “how to” video. It was made a bit quickly as we were short on time that day, but it gives you the general idea.
Paper leaves are a fabulous way to bring the outside inside on Halloween.
We love this stuff – it makes our skin crawl every time! You can use it for anything you like. We use it for wrapping up small presents and (perhaps oddly!) to cover tissue boxes when we’re trying to Halloweenify the house. After all, it’s the little details which make for a great party.
TIP: To get the biggest (highest resolution) image of this craft paper, make sure you click on the picture itself, rather than using the PDF button.
These letters were created as a lighthearted antidote for any children who think there are monsters living in their house, but even if your kids are too old to worry about such things, we’ve found that many still enjoy them. They’re written by the same author as our Santa letters and are an amusing read for all the family.
Okay, so you weren’t expecting a Father Christmas resource in this list, but think again. Halloween is a great time to remind the children he’s watching between now and Christmas – and with any luck you’ll get a special effort from them on the good behaviour front.
This is just a quick post for all of you who like to keep an eye out for our latest printable resources. Once upon a time when our website was young, witches weren’t particularly popular, but since the advent of Harry Potter, we’ve seen demand for them go up and up. We’ve long had requests to extend our witch-themed printables, but it’s not always easy to know what to make.
However, this February, one of our illustrators put together a couple of witchy rhymes to print out for children’s bedroom walls. We’re calling them Witchy Wall Spells, the idea being that you can pop them on a bedroom or playroom wall for a bit of decorative fun. They’re affectionate, gentle and will hopefully bring a smile to any child. So far, we’ve got a witchy wall spell for a boy and a witchy wall spell for a girl, but we hope to add more before the end of this month.
As with all our resources, our witch-themed printables have no religious content in them whatsoever and are intended only for entertainment purposes.
Don’t forget… if you scroll down to the bottom of our newest resources, you can usually find a “Download as PDF” button to make printing easier.