In the Northern Hemisphere tonight there will be a Harvest Moon. This is the full moon that happens to be closest to the autumn equinox and is special as the time difference between moonrise and successive evenings is shorter than usual.
The Harvest Moon tends to be large and more colourful than other moons of the year. This is because of the tilt of the earth and reflections from the atmosphere.
The Harvest Moon gets its name from the extra light it gives farmers – which mean in times before electricity that they had even longer to harvest their crops. The Harvest Moon, however, has other names. It’s known often as the Wine Moon as it is through this is when grapes are plump and ready for collecting. It’s called the Singing Moon as the festivals held to mark it would involve signing – it is the last full moon before Halloween. The moon has been called the Elk Call Moon too. The native American tribes may call a Harvest Moon that rises in September the Full Corn Moon and some European people may refer to it as the Gypsy Moon. The Chinese call the moon the Chrysanthemum Moon because of the illusion of the colour change.
The Celts would use the Harvest Moon to mark the time before Samhain and considered it a blessing. It would be a time of crop collection but also of large parties; signing, dancing and drinking.
The Norse noted that the Harvest Moon was often the first full moon after the first frost of the winter seasons. They considered it to be the most powerful moon of the year and associated with the trickster god Loki.
6 Moon Superstitions
- An old Chinese superstition suggests that your ears may fall off if you point to a moon.
- It’s dangerous to sleep with the moon shining on your face
- Seeing a new moon for the first time on a Monday is lucky
- Go outside with an empty purse or wallet, under a full moon, say “full up” nine times and within a few days you will come into money
- A red moon is the sign of war
- If the first time you see a new moon in a month is by looking over your right shoulder it is lucky
- If you rub an injury on a horse with silver during the light of a full moon then it will recover
In Pure Spirit
Will you be watching the Harvest Moon tonight? What does it mean to you?