The annual “Harvest Moon” will be occuring this week. On the night of October 5th, skywatchers will be treated the “Harvest Moon”. The moon will be full at 240pm and we will not be able to see the moon at 100% full but it will still be close to full on the night of the 5th. This is an unusual “Harvest Moon” and the reason is described in the information below provided by the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
An unusual Harvest Moon
“According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the name of the full moon in October is usually “Hunter’s Moon,” as October is when people would hunt to store food for winter. However, this year is a bit out of the ordinary, and we’ll have a Harvest Moon instead.
The Harvest Moon is defined as the full moon that falls closest to the autumn equinox, which happened on Sept. 22. Usually September’s full moon is called the Harvest Moon, but this year, it just so happened that October’s full moon is closer to the equinox. So, September’s full moon was named the “Corn Moon” instead, and the next Hunter’s Moon won’t happen until October 2018.
Native people in North America had several different associations and names for the full moons. According to the Ontario Native Literacy Coalition, the Ojibwe peoples called October’s full moon the Mskawji Giizis, or the Freezing Moon, as the weather changes and first frosts occur at this time. Cree people called it Pimahamowipisim, or the Migrating Moon, as in northeastern North America, many bird species start migrating south for the winter in October. In the Pacific Northwest, the Tlingit called the lunation of October the Big Moon, while the Haida called the month the Ice Moon.
In the Southern Hemisphere, the days are getting warmer and longer in October. The Māori of New Zealand described the lunar months in September to October as Whiringa-ā-nuku, which means, “The Earth has now become quite warm,” according to “The Encyclopedia of New Zealand.”
The full moon of October also marks an important holiday for Jewish people: Sukkot, the 15th day of the month of Tishrei. The holiday is also known as the Feast of Tabernacles, and is a celebration of the harvest and the exodus from Egypt. “