Without the ability to grow and harvest crops, permanent civilizations would not have developed. Because societies were dependent on cultivating their crops for food, storage, and trade, harvesting became a sacred event in many cultures. Ancient people believed spirits lived within their crops, and went to great lengths to appease these beings. Although modern thought has evolved since that era, the significance of the harvest has hardly been lost. From the New Yam Festival in Africa to the Jewish Sukkot to Thanksgiving Day in the United States, the majority of cultures throughout the world have set aside days to celebrate times of bounty. Thanksgiving and Other Harvest Festivals looks at how the regions of Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and North America pay homage to the harvest and everything it represents.