Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009

In Honor of the Harvest Moon


The full moon closes to the Autumn Equinox is called the Harvest Moon.  The Autumn Equinox, having occurred a week ago means tonight’s full moon is this year’s Harvest Moon.  Even more uniquely, this year’s Harvest Moon will rise over Uranus in the sky and you can watch it on the Slooh Space Camera starting at 6pm (CDT) tonight.  How cool is that?

Yes, of course you can go outside and see it yourself.  In Madison, the moon will rise in the sky around 6:13pm, but won’t be full until just after 10pm.  I’m actually thinking of taking the kidlets moon/stargazing tonight.  It won’t be nearly as fun without our usual peeps to join us, but we’ll manage.

This is also the time of year for the Chinese Mid-Autumn festival.  It’s another version on the Harvest Home festival of my European ancestors.  The festival honors the moon goddess, Chang-O (Chang’e), who lives on the moon along with the Jade Rabbit.  Tomorrow I’m going to read this version of her legend with the kids unless I can get to the library and pick up a copy of Grace Lin’s “Thanking the Moon” which is the only fiction book the entire library system carries about the Mid-Autumn festival.  We’re also going to be making a very simple (and completely Westernized) recipe for mooncakes because I have no idea where to buy them locally and the recipes I have seen look…complicated.

We will also be continuing our discussion of the harvest season (we go over the story of Persephone and Demter at least once a day at the behest of the little ones) by reading Wendy Pfeffer’s “We Gather Together:  Celebrating the Harvest Season.”

How will you mark the change in seasons?


4 thoughts on “In Honor of the Harvest Moon

  1. This full moon also marks the Jewish holiday of Succot, also a harvest holiday, and a remembrance of emancipation from slavery. Thanks for this blog.

  2. I spent a year in China and the Moon festival was wonderful! One of my students was very wealthy and her family had a driver and a huge car. They took us out to the beach and we rented a grill/fire pit and roasted tofu and veggies on sticks. Then there were fireworks over the water. Many people brought us moon cakes, but I couldn’t eat them due to the wheat, so I just accepted them and gave back our own gifts. (Gift giving was a big deal).