Eat-Q Test: Harvest Festivals (answers)

1. A traditional Polish harvest festival might feature a girl wearing a straw crown on her head, with this item placed upon it:
A. A rooster  
B. A rabbit
C. A bronze spoon
D. A tin pail

Answer: A. Polish folklore recounts that at the end of summer harvest, a village girl was chosen to wear a straw crown out into the fields, atop of which the mayor of the villager then placed a rooster to predict the bounty of next year’s crop. If the rooster crowed it was considered good luck and the next year would be good; if the rooster refused to eat, it was a looked upon as a bad omen.
Source: “Polish Harvest Festivals.” Harvest Festivals From Around the World, Australian Media Pty Ltd, 2008.

2. Which of these foods is most closely associated with the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival?
A. Shumai
B. Preserved jellyfish
C. Scallion pancakes
D. Moon cakes

Answer: D. The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is an Asian harvest festival timed to the autumnal equinox, when the moon is supposedly at its fullest and roundest. Traditionally, Chinese family and friends will gather to admire the harvest moon, and eat moon cakes—dense pastries filled with lotus seed paste or salted egg yolk.
Source: “The Moon Festival.” Chinese Culture. Accessed 13 June, 2010.

3. In Ghana and Nigeria, which harvest celebration is named after one of the area’s most common foods:
A. The Yam Festival
B. The Millet Festival
C. The Plantain Party
D. The Palm Party

Answer: A. Some areas in West Africa celebrate the yam harvest with days of ceremonies and offerings of yams to their ancestors and to the gods. Yams are the first crops to be harvested, and the festival is usually held in the beginning of August at the end of the rainy season.
Source: “African Harvest Festivals.” Harvest Festivals From Around the World, Australian Media Pty Ltd, 2008.
4. During the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot, farmers build these to celebrate the harvest:
A. Aqueducts
B. A tower of citrus fruits
C. A life-size idol of corn husks
D. Shelters from tree branches and fruit
Answer: D. These three-sided shelters were known as sukkahs, constructed so that farmers could live in the fields during harvest in late fall. Families also gathered to pray, eat, and celebrate in the sukkahs, which many synagogues today still build for the weeklong Sukkot holiday.
Source: Falsetto, Sharon. “The History of the Harvest Festival.” Botany, 1 Sept 2009.
5. Ancient Greeks worshiped this figure as the goddess of all grains, and every autumn the festival of Thesmophoria honored her:
A. Agea
B. Demeter
C. Isis
D. Pleiades
Answer: B. Greek lore has it that after Demter’s daughter Persephone was stolen by Hades, Demeter became so depressed that she stopped crops from growing. After reuniting with her daughter, Demeter gave the gift of agriculture to mankind. The festival was a celebration of thanks for this gift, and request for a fruitful harvest the following year.
Source: Gill, N.S. “Thesmophoria: Greek Thanksgiving.” Ancient History. Accessed 13 June 2010.
6. Pongal, the namesake rice dish cooked during the Pongal holiday in Sri Lanka, literally translates to this:
A. “To sweeten”
B. “To cleanse”
C. “To boil over”
D. “To tear”
Answer: C. The Pongal holiday is celebrated by boiling rice with fresh milk and jaggery, then topping the rice with brown sugar, cashew nuts and raisins. Tamils consider it a good sign to watch the milk boil over, which signifies good luck and prosperity. The newly cooked rice is traditionally offered to the Sun God at sunrise to demonstrate gratitude for the harvest.
Source: “Pongal: The Harvest Festival of South India.” Society for the Confluence of Festivals in India. Accessed 13 June 13, 2010.
7. The Grand Kadooment is the finale of this five-week harvest festival:
A. Ch’usok in Korea
B. Crop Over in Barbados
C. Fiestas das Vindimias in Portugal
D. Moon Set in Thailand
Answer: B. Crop Over is a Barbadian festival celebrating the end of the local sugar cane crop harvest. Grand Kadooment Day is the festival’s final celebration: a giant street carnival, where costumed revelers dance to calypso music and drink locally brewed beer and rum.
Source: “About Crop Over.” Accessed 13 June 2010.
8. The Orange Festival Queen rides in a procession of fruit-decorated floats, pipe bands and
highland dancers in this country’s celebration of the orange harvest:
A. Brazil
B. Australia
C. Spain
D. Morocco
Answer: B. The Orange Festival happens every two years in Gayndah, the citrus capital of Queensland. The Orange Festival Queen is crowned and displayed during a town-wide parade, and a carnival with all kinds of games, competitions and fun continues for a week.
Source: “Gayndah Orange Festival.” Australia Q Guide. Accessed 13 June 2010.
9. This is a signature treat at the Tuscan Festa del Impruneta, celebrated in October as the last chance to indulge in special wines and foods before winter sets in:
A. Gnocci pasta
B. Pignoli cookies
C. Brigidini cookies
D. Tripe sandwiches
Answer: C. The fall fair held at Impruneta is one of the largest and noisiest of the autumn harvest festivals held in Tuscany. Brigidini, paper-thin anise cookies that evolved from the communion wafers for the Diocese of Pistoia, are one of the signature offerings at the event.
Source: “Tuscan Harvest Festival.” Harvest Festivals From Around the World, Australian Media Pty Ltd, 2008.
10. At the Japanese Otaue Rice Planting Festival, who ceremonially plants rice for the next year?
A. Kimono-clad women
B. Rice farmers
C. First-born sons
D. The oldest couple in the village
Answer: A. During this summertime celebration in Osaka, rice paddies are tilled by oxen, and seedlings replanted by kimono-clad girls, followed by an elaborate dance performance believed to enhance the vitality of the grains.
Source: “Otauo Rice Planting Festival.” Japan National Toursim Organization: Traditional National Events. Accessed 13 June 2010.
Your Eat-Q Score:
10 Correct: Harvest Queen
6–9: Harvest Queen Attendant
3–5: Maybe You Can Ride the Float
2 or Fewer: Parade Bystander