Monday, September 12, 2011

Harvest Moon September 12th

Oh, Shine on, shine on harvest moon, way up in the sky;
I ain't had no lovin' since April, January, June or July.
Snow time ain't no time to stay outdoors and spoon,
So shine on, shine on harvest moon, for me and my gal.

This year, the legendary Harvest Moon comes early.   The Harvest Moon is the Full Moon which falls nearest the date of the Autumn Equinox.  It is also known as the Barley or Hunter's Moon, but these names were reserved only for those years in which the Harvest Moon is very late in September.  The Harvest Moon is one of the most celebrated Moons of the year, even today. 

September is the month when the main harvest is taken in, and stocking up for the cold season is the main activity of this month. The wild rice harvest was important to the Minnesota Chippewa; hence, they called this the Rice Moon.   The Cherokee called it the Nut Moon, and the Choctaw knew it as the Little Chestnut Moon.  The Shawnee called this the Pawpaw Moon.  

In China, celebration of the Harvest Moon Festival is associated with the romantic legend of Chang’O, the Moon Goddess of Immortality.  According to the story, there was a time, long, long ago, when  ten suns circled the earth, each one shining for it's own allotted time. Then one day something happened, and all ten shone at once, searing the earth with their heat.The earth was saved when a tyrannical archer named Hou Yi shot down nine of the ten suns, and for this, he was rewarded with magic immortality potion.

One day, while Hou Yi was out, Chang-O happened upon the potion and drank it.  Immediately, her body became lighter, and she transformed into a fairy, and as she ran out into the night, she found herself floating upwards, to the stars.  Finally, she came to rest on the Moon and found herself trapped there, never to return.  Hou Yi was heartbroken and pleaded with the gods to let him visit his wife.  

And so it is that once a year, the gods grant Hou Yi the right to ascend to the heavens to be with his wife. And this is why, on that one night, the  night of the Harvest Moon, the Moon  shines the brightest and fullest of the year, as it reflects Hou Yi's love for Chang-O.

May the Harvest Moon be a bright one for you!

All hail! thou lovely queen of night,
Bright empress of the starry sky!
The meekness of thy silvery light
Beams gladness on the gazer's eye, 
While from thy peerless throne on high
Thou shinest bright as cloudless noon,
And bidd'st the shades of darkness fly
Before thy glory—Harvest Moon!

In the deep stillness of the night, '
When weary labor is at rest,
How lovely is the scene!—how bright
The wood—the lawn—the mountain's breast,
When thou fair moon of Harvest! hast
Thy radiant glory all unfurled,"
And sweetly smilest in the west,
Far down upon the silent world. 

Shine on, fair orb of light! and smile
Till autumn months have passed away,
And labor hath forgot the toil
He bore in summer's sultry ray;
And when the reapers end the day,
Tired with the burning heat of noon,
They '11 come with spirits light and gay,
And bless thee—lovely Harvest Moon!


  1. Harvest Moon and autumn days on the way, hurray. Favorite time of year!!

  2. Good afternoon Mary....I, too, love the favorite time of year.



  3. I looked at the moon last night and wondered if it was a Harvest Moon. Thank you for confirming it!
    Blessed Be.