The Feast of Tabernacles was also a celebration of the final gathering in of the harvest of grain and vine, and the coming of the latter rains, to soften the ground for replanting. No one was to appear before the Lord empty handed, but with gifts in proportion to His blessings.
The keynote of the festival was joy. It was a celebration of unity, rest, restoration and ingathering. Everyone was to take part in the rejoicing, including the foreigners living in Israel.
It was this festival that was celebrated shortly after the Israelites returned from exile in Babylon, although at that point they hadn't had a harvest, and was recorded as the greatest time of festival since their original entry into the Promised Land under Joshua.