Festivals and feasts are special times where people come together and celebrate. Most of these celebrations are to do with religion and beliefs. Special events in a country's history or the changing seasons are also celebrated. Singing and exchanging gifts are popular rituals and often form part of an annual festival.Pictures and objects also have a special meaning at festival time. For example, golden fish become symbols of wealth at Chinese New Year. Different cultures share the same symbols in their festivals. Christians light candles at
Christmas and Hindus do the same for Diwali. People dressing up in costumes and sharing
meals together are popular festive activities in many parts of the world.Thanksgiving is celebrated in November. It is a national holiday where people get together to share the traditional dinner of turkey and pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving started in the autumn of 1621. A group of European settlers in North America invited the Indians to join them for their first harvest in a thanksgiving feast because the Indians had taught them how to grow crops. Halloween is celebrated on the 31st October, the night before All Saint's Day. Typical festive activities include trick-or-treating, dressing up in costumes, carving jack-o'-lanterns, lighting
bonfires, and apple bobbing. Lighting candles and putting them inside frightening
pumpkin faces scares away evil spirits at Halloween.