The Harvest Moon


The Harvest Moon

※harvest = 収穫/Moon=月 ★Harvest Moon =中秋の名月

Did you see the full moon this month, on September 21st? It was a little cloudy on the 21st but I was able to see the almost full moon the day before, on Monday the 20th. It was so clear and bright!

In some English speaking countries we call this full moon the Harvest Moon.
The Harvest Moon is the full moon that is closest to the autumnal equinox on the calendar.

Why is it called the harvest moon?

A long time ago, before electricity, farmers used the moon light to harvest their crops (plants such as wheat, rice, corn, etc.)
A clear sky with a bright full moon was very helpful because farmers could see their fields clearly and harvest with plenty of light from early in the evening until late in the night.
And, many crops grown in the summer would be ready to harvest in the autumn so farmers are especially busy this time of the year.

So, a big bright full moon that is right on time for a busy harvest season is perfect! This important event gave the name of the Harvest Moon.

Actually, each full moon has a special name which is also related to the seasons (of North America or Europe) but the Harvest Moon is the most well known one.
If you didn’t see it this year, I hope you can catch it next year!