Harvest Eve - Celebrating Family
a positive alternative to halloween that brings people and communities together on October 31 

What is Harvest Eve?

Harvest Eve is celebrated on October 31st. It is a positive alternative to Halloween. It is a time for children to learn more about their heritage and the cultures of others. It is a time for neighbors to be neighborly. Harvest Eve removes the negative images of Halloween and replaces them with new, positive traditions. Harvest Eve can simply be an alternative to Halloween to avoid the themes of violence and the occult or it can become a rich family and faith tradition for sharing stories of the past.

Do the children still dress up in costumes?

Yes. Instead of dressing up as characters of violence and death, they chose characters from history, or positive portrayals from fiction or fantasy. The child researches his character and writes a short summary. This summary is written on a small piece of paper, called a "Character Card." When going door-to-door, it is given to the person handing out treats. It helps children identify with their characters better and therefore encourages parents to be more responsible in the selection of characters. It is also a great learning experience for the entire family.

Is there more to this tradition than just "trick-or-treating?"

There can be depending on your interest. Families need time together to share the stories of the past and their hopes for the future. Around the Table is designed to encourage family time in preparation for Thanksgiving. There are five times to gather around a certain theme: Remembering, Peace, Hope, Charity, and Love. The length of time spent sharing will depend on the ages of the children but should never be longer than is enjoyable. When you begin, light a candle and put it in the center of the table as a reminder that Around the Table has begun. Tailor the experience to fit the values and priorities of your family and faith traditions.




Click here for Around the Table...

A simple structure for family sharing time


Who came up with the idea of Harvest Eve?

Bob Ayres is an educator, minister, writer, and father of five. Bob and his wife, Kathy, were concerned about the negative messages connected with Halloween. Bob conceptualized Harvest Eve during the middle 1980s based on the ancient Hebrew festival, Feast of Booths. It is a celebration of heritage and family in preparation for the harvest feast. In our country, this feast is called Thanksgiving.

You can learn more about Bob and Kathy Ayres at www.bobayres.com

Hey, here's a fun folk song about a possible Harvest Eve character!

Web Hosting Companies