So it’s officially the start of fall. It’s now considered appropriate to bake pumpkin-flavoured everything, begin contemplating your Halloween costume, and start sharing fun leaf-jumping photos with cute captions like “Fall shows us how beautiful it can be to let things go.”
However, this Fall season we’ve got something a little more exciting, something slightly out of the ordinary. This week’s Full Moon on October 5 will be a Harvest Moon, and it’s a show you won’t want to miss!
Harvest Moons are exciting for a variety of reasons, and there’s lots of history behind them too. Typically, the September Full Moon takes the title of Harvest Moon because it falls closer to the equinox, but since the Full Moon in October is closer to the date this year, she takes the cake.
Although all Full Moons are special in their own way, as we hold a deep connection to each and every one of them, the Harvest Moon holds some unique features you should know about. So, let’s explore some of the details surrounding the Harvest Moon and when to keep an eye out for it.
1. When You Can See It
The Harvest Moon will take place on October 5 and will reach its full, round peak at 2:40 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, when it’s perfectly opposite of the Sun. To make the event even more spectacular, the Moon will have the appearance of being full for up to two days before and after the grand event.
2. The Harvest Moon Is Usually in September
Fun fact: September usually claims the Harvest Moon, but this year October’s Full Moon has taken the official title of “Harvest Moon,” and that’s a rarity. Between 1970 and 2050, it’s anticipated that the Harvest Moon will only occur in October 18 times.
The last time the October Full Moon claimed the title as being the Harvest Moon was in 2009, and it won’t happen against until 2020. Next year’s Harvest Moon will take place in September, specifically on the September 24 Full Moon, which is only two days after the equinox. October Harvest Moons only actually happen every three to eight years, so check it out while you can!
3. When Do Harvest Moons Usually Take Place?
Let’s take a look at the regular dates for a second. Harvest Moons have occurred as early as September 8 and as late as October 7. So, given that the date of this year’s Harvest Moon is on the 5th, it’s pretty late in comparison to past Harvest Moons.
Sometimes, the Full Moon actually occurs on the autumn equinox itself, meaning the Harvest Moon falls on that exact date. The last time this happened was on the 2010 equinox, and it’s set to occur again in 2029.
4. The October Full Moon Has Held Many Other Names in History
The Harvest Moon isn’t the only title the October Full Moon has claimed throughout history. The calendar year used to be reflected with circles of the Moons to mark its progression as it waxed and waned. People used this to determine planting and harvesting periods, and women understood (and still do) their menstrual cycles based on the Moon’s phases.
The October Moon has also been referred to the as the Full Hunter’s Moon, the Travel Moon, and the Dying Moon throughout history.
5. Where the Harvest Moon’s Name Comes From
The Harvest Moon’s title dates back at least as early as the 18th century and it’s entirely related to harvesting food. The Harvest Moon helps farmers in their practice, which is why it was traditionally a period of celebration.
Though Full Moons rise at sunset, the Harvest Moon has less of a lag while rising on successive days, giving the appearance that there’s a Full Moon rising near sunset for more days before and after the Full Moon. As a result, farmers get to basically enjoy an extended sunset period, which gives them more time to work. This was especially useful during busy harvest times.
6. The Harvest Moon’s Appearance Is Breathtaking
Since the Moon rises much quicker, there ends up being a sort of “low-hanging” Full Moon during sunset. As a result, the Moon appears to be reddened, which is appropriately beautiful for Fall and sort of mimics the look of a giant pumpkin.
The Harvest Moon also appears to be gigantic, making it seem like it grows multiple times in size. In reality, the Moon isn’t getting any larger, it’s just giving the illusion that it’s enlarged.
7. The Harvest Moon Is an Excellent Reason to Celebrate the Full Moon and the Equinox
Equinox simply represents that point at which both day and night are of equal length in time all over the Earth. The word itself was derived from Latin and literally translates to “equal night.” It was celebrated traditionally in honour of the physical harvest, but it’s important to reflect on how this relates to your life as well.
What seeds have you planted in your garden and harvested over the past year, learning from your experiences? What energies are you ready to let go of so you can continue to blossom and grow? Equinox is a beautiful time to contemplate the changes in your life that you’ve made, the personal growth that you’ve felt, and the other seeds you’d like to plant moving forwards.
Since the Harvest Moon can occasionally be spotted days in advance, start keeping an eye out for that beautiful round Moon! If you’d like to learn more surrounding the significance of the Full Moon, check out our in-house astrologer’s work, Carmen Di Luccio.
Much love and happy Harvest Moon to all!