Image Credit: Dan Bush of Missouri Skies
The Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox, which occurs in September (Northern Hemisphere). About once every four years, the Harvest Moon is in October, but most years, it's in September, like this year. And now for some history of the Harvest Moon. Because I'm such a nerd, I'm all about the history :)
According to EarthSky.org, "the shorter-than-usual time between moonrises around the Harvest Moon means no long periods of darkness between sunset and moonrise for days in succession. In the days before tractor lights, the lamp of the Harvest Moon helped farmers to gather their crops, despite the diminishing daylight hours. As the sun's light faded in the west, the moon would soon rise in the east to illuminate the fields throughout the night."
So while we see the Harvest Moon as a beautiful, orange celestial light to gaze upon on a fall night, the farmers saw it in a much more practical way. It gave them a few more hours in the day to harvest those crops, which they would desperately need to tide them over in the winter months.
"Who named the Harvest Moon? The name probably sprang to the lips of farmers throughout the northern hemisphere, on autumn evenings, as the Harvest Moon aided in bringing in the crops." (Source: Deborah Byrd on EarthSky, September 11, 2011)
According to Wikipedia, September was called "harvest month" in Charlemagne's calendar, and it's called Herbstmonat, or harvest month, in Switzerland.
All facts aside, I just think September is a beautiful month -- blue, blue skies and puffy white clouds. And just a touch of fall in the air.
If you click on the image below to enlarge, you'll see that the people in the picture are harvesting the grapes. See what I mean -- September's all about the harvest; and for many of us it's about enjoying the transition from summer to fall. :)
A calendar page for September
from a 15th century book of hours.
Image Source: Wikipedia
This beautiful image is from the Très Riches Heures, which is a book of hours--a collection of prayers to be said at canonical hours. It was created between 1412 and 1416 for John, Duke of Berry, and is possibly the best example of manuscript illumination surviving to the present day. I really love the incredibly rich colors in this medieval artwork.
Thanks for stopping by the House at Forest Manor -- your visits are always welcome! Have a great September day!