Harvest

"At Harvest Time" by Jules Bastien-Lepage

Origin: English
Gender: Unisex
Meaning: "The Season for Gathering Crops; To Gather or Catch"
Pronunciation: HARR-vist
Other Forms: N/A

This is the first of my Fall/Halloween inspired posts this year! If you have any suggestions on ones you'd like to see, drop a comment below.

I've always had a love for word names, the more unusual the better, and Harvest is no exception. I love the image it evokes, autumn leaves, the warmth of a fire, full moons, and the cozy feeling it gives me. I also love how well it would work for either a boy or a girl!

The word Harvest has comes from the Old English hærfest, meaning "autumn" or "harvest-time", eventually evolving into the Middle English hervest. Harvest has been celebrated all over the world, from Thanksgiving in the States and Canada, to the week-long Jewish festival called Sukkot. In Britain, since Pagan times, a good harvest has traditionally been celebrated on the Sunday nearest, or on the night of, the harvest moon. Like many cultures they celebrated with singing, praying, and sometimes weaving the blades of the cereal into a "dolly", which they would keep safe for good luck until they would sow seeds the following year. Until about the 20th-century, farmers would celebrate the end of harvest by having a big meal called the "harvest supper", and all who helped with that year's harvest would be invited to eat.

In China there is the Mid-Autumn Festival, or Moon Festival, one of the largest and most widely spread harvest festivals in the world. It is the second most important celebration following the Chinese New Year and has been celebrated for 3,000 years, dating all the way back to when the Emperors would worship the moon in the hopes of a bountiful harvest. Lanterns are displayed as beacons meant to light the way to prosperity and good luck, and the traditional Mooncakes, pastries filled with sweet-bean or lotus-seed paste are eaten. 

Harvest would make a lovely, and surprising, name for any Autumn-born baby! Not as adventurous as that? It works just as well in the middle.

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