Celebrating Harvest Festival at Oaken Holt

At Oaken Holt care home in Farmoor, we held our annual Harvest Festival celebrations with Holy Communion at our home.

Glenys, from our local parish, Cumnor Church, comes to Oaken Holt once a month to give Holy Communion to our residents who wish to take part and we were pleased to welcome her to our home to celebrate with us.

We prepared in advance by making a salt dough wheatsheaf as this has a lot of symbolism. As per tradition, we brought in vegetables and used the wheatsheaf as part of the celebration.

We also discussed past traditions at Harvest Festivals. In the past, people celebrated the Harvest Festival at the beginning of the harvest. It was called Lammas, meaning ‘loaf-mass’ and a loaf of bread made from the new crop would be brought to the church service. This would be used as the Communion bread during a special mass thanking God for the harvest. At the start of the harvest, a community would appoint the ‘Lord of the Harvest’ who would take responsibility for negotiating the harvest wages and looking after the workers.

Tradition changed when Henry VIII left the Catholic Church and the end of the harvest was celebrated with a big harvest supper, eaten on Michaelmas Day, 29th September. The church bells would ring out and people would decorate the cart bringing in the last harvest with flowers and autumn foliage. Now in the UK, it is now normally held on the Sunday of the Harvest Moon, or full moon occurs closest to the autumn equinox (22nd or 23rd September). People will donate food which is usually shared with the needy in the community and so, sharing the harvest.

Our residents and team then shared their various stories and recollections of how they used to celebrate and what this celebration meant to them.

Oaken Holt is set in a magnificent country estate located in the peaceful village of Farmoor offering the perfect blend of tranquillity and accessibility with Oaken Holt providing residential and nursing care of the very highest standard for up to 55 elderly residents. Wytham House, our specialist dementia home is also located within the grounds of Oaken Holt estate.

If you would like to find out more about life at Oaken Holt care home, or to arrange a visit, please contact the home by calling 0808 223 5529 or email oakenholt.reception@caringHomes.org.

Oaken Holt

Home Manager

Theresa Whitford


Eynsham Road,

0808 223 5529
View care home

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