The Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the Autumn Equinox (Sept 22 this year!). The full moon itself isn’t what is so special tonight- but don’t let science spoil the fun. The angle of the moon’s orbit is narrowest now, making the changes in rising time shift more slowly. Usually the moon rises one hour later each night, and around 6pm on the full moon. But this time of year it rises about half an hour later each night. Back in the days before electricity night was a pretty dominant force, especially if you had business outdoors. Tree seeds aren’t the only things to eat in abundance at the moment; the end of summer is pretty climactic for food (reap what you sow yo). With the moon rising earlier for days, there was a lot more light after sunset by which to harvest during the historical and pre-historical period of no-electricity agriculture. 4 days after the full moon the moon would normally rise at 10pm (way past a caveman’s bedtime I would assume). 4 days from now it will still be up by 8.
Some kind of magic.
Update: By the way, this harvest claim, met with some doubt by my local farmer friends (family), did not match up with my observation… I saw the moon risen not much more than an hour ago on 9/23 at 10PM. ❤