Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Top Places to Eat, Drink and Give Harvest Thanks Around the World

TORONTO, ON -- (Marketwired) -- The array of gold and red tones that top the autumn trees in North America are not the only treasures that autumn brings. Pumpkin patches, apple picking and harvest celebrations abound and spark rituals of thanks. For those who love to celebrate the Earth's bounty all year round, the travel experts at, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, have picked their Top 10 Harvest Festivals around the World with festivities that span the calendar as well as the globe. From stomping grapes to stinky fruit and tomato fights, these celebrations are rich in local traditions as well as local fare.

Here are five delicious choices to eat your way through:

  • Bala Cranberry Festival, Bala, Ontario, Canada - An after party for Canadian Thanksgiving, the Bala Cranberry Festival (October 17-19, 2014) draws 20,000 people to Ontario's cottage country for food, live entertainment and bog tours (some by helicopter). This celebration features cranberry sauces, jams and syrups as well as pies, candies and even wine. However, the Cran-Anne-Look-Alike contest, seeking a double for "Anne of Green Gables," adds a popular twist to the festival line-up.
  • Gran Tomatina Colombiana, Sutamarchan, Colombia - The famous La Tomatina food fight in Buñol, Spain, has expanded in a variety of ways across the globe, allowing new opportunities for people to smash tomatoes on one another in the streets. Colombians have adopted a version of the festival in celebration of the tomato harvest. Tomatina originally started thanks to a surplus resulting from the implementation of greenhouse harvests. Now, every June, as a way of being thankful for the excess tomatoes, children and adults are invited to this friendly battle where they throw ripe tomatoes at one another.
  • Chanthaburi Fruit Festival, Chanthaburi, Thailand - Held during May in the Fruit Capital of Thailand, the Durian Festival, or the Chanthaburi Fruit Festival, is renowned for its 10-day harvest celebration of tropical fruits. While the durian fruit (a large fruit covered in spikes with a distinct, unpleasant odor) is the star of this festival, other foods and tropical fruits are celebrated, including the mangosteen, dragon fruit and jackfruit. The event attracts a large number of raw-foodists and fruit lovers for demonstrations, competitions and displays, including floats built of fruit.
  • Olivagando, Magione, Italy - Olive oil is an integral part of Italian cooking, and once a year, for two days in the middle of November, oil mills and olive harvesters come together to celebrate this region's most famous crop. Those who get the opportunity to experience Olivagando enjoy the highest quality olive, la dolce algogia, which is not even exported out of the country. The festival is complemented by other fine foods from the region including wine, truffles, cheese and cured meats.
  • National Apple Harvest Festival, Biglerville, Pennsylvania - In celebration of apple season, the 50th annual National Apple Harvest Festival, running this year until October 12, is renowned for all things apple. Visitors travel from all over to this picturesque spot, 16 kilometres from Gettysburg, for the best in apple picking, pie contests, ciders, crafts, candy and caramel apples and more. Plus, there is plenty of family-friendly entertainment including musical performances, tractor square dancing and a petting zoo.

If you're still up for food and fun, here are the other five harvest festivals that round out our list: Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia, Mendoza, Argentina; Ludwigsberg Pumpkin Festival, Ludwigsberg, Germany; Sukkot, Jerusalem, Israel; International Mango Festival, Delhi, India; and Noche de Rabanos, Oaxaca, Mexico. For the full list of our Top 10 Harvest Festivals around the World visit:

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