“Across all cultures and ages, humans have come together in observance of the progression of time, in recognition of our relationship to the earth. Although our western society has become far removed from these agricultural origins, we can give recognition to the way these rhythms still live in us through the celebration of family festivals. We can rejoice in the turning of the seasons at home with images, stories, foods and activities that evoke seasonal qualities. Many of the agricultural festivals and their closely associated religious holidays have been claimed by marketing agencies and have become overly commercial, devoid of soul. If we choose, though, we can ensoul them and make them our own unique celebrations. They can become a picture of our family life together.”
-Sharifa Oppenheimer, in the book Heaven on Earth
This past Saturday we celebrated an apple festival, our first one ever! I decided on an apple festival mostly because having been raised on an apple farm, I wanted my children to experience the same sorts of things I did as a child. The first idea of visiting a U-pick apple farm didn’t work out as there weren’t any in the area, but with decorations and songs, stories, and a yummy dinner, it turned out pretty fun.
We made this fall banner by paint-stamping in red and orange apples cut in half and then painted on “Joy of Autumn”.
For our door hanging and outside decor, we gathered cattails and yellow grasses and leaves from around our apartment. Then we cut down our corn from the garden and tied it in a bunch to go by the door.
The tablecloth was fabric I found on clearance at Joanns, and the centerpiece we made by sticking all the things we gathered outside in a grapevine wreath (which I love because we can just take them out when done and use again for our winter festival!). Also we added the apples (it IS an apple festival, after all) and candles to bring an extra special feeling to the meal. Don’t you love eating by candlelight? The kids sure did!
We also got our “nice” plates out of storage, and they added to the special feeling.
The menu was:
Butternut squash and apple Soup
Whipped Sweet Potatoes and Apples
Cranberry and Apple Chicken
We read apple books from the library throughout the day. Something to change for next year would be to get different books. The books we had were mostly informational books, and I would like more imaginative fictional stories, so I would find different ones or write some of my own!
We also sang songs about apples through out the day and did apple bobbing after dinner. Oh, and of course, we had applecrisp for dessert! unfortunately, we didn’t get a picture of that, but I’ll provide one from someone else to tempt your taste buds.
Overall, it was a great time, and we will for sure continue it next year!