Over the course of the seasons, the moon rises later and later. Except the Harvest Moon, the full moon closest to the Equinox, which rises at the same time several nights in a row, and rises earlier, giving that much more light right when the farmer needs it, at harvest time. (Pretend I knew this and didn’t just find out by reading The Farmers Alamanac.)
The harvest moon, September 12 this year, also just happens to rise so that it is dead center on my street, framed by the trees. I took this standing in the middle of my busy street, like an idiot, because my daughter has my car and I couldn’t get down to the lakefront.
Here in the city the extra light is moot. We have so much extraneous light that I used to point out to my children, when they complained about the dark, that they had never actually seen dark, just that sort of dim, glowy orange that us city folk call “night.” We’ve spent years trying to find a place dark enough to see the Perseids meteor shower, but the nearest actual “dark” is more than a two hour drive.
The moon is always a surprise in the city. You have to seek it out, or know where it’s going to be. You cannot find it by its light, because even the full moon can’t compete with a streetlight. A couple of times a year, the gears grind in my brain and remind me to look for the moon. I learned to look for the crescent that heralds Ramadan when a Muslim friend told me how exciting it is to watch for it every year, as it ushers in a month of intense spiritual reflection and joyous family celebration.
We don’t particularly have any rituals or celebrations around the moons in my family. The Harvest moon is the only full moon name that I can remember without prompting. But still, I watch for the Harvest Moon, It never disappoints.
Do you have celebrations around the full moons?