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What Is a Harvest Moon?

Everything You Need to Know About Tonight's Harvest Moon, Including Why It Looks So Close

WEST ORANGE, NJ - SEPTEMBER 19: A 98.8 percent Harvest Moon rises behind midtown Manhattan, One Vanderbilt, the Chrysler Building, the Spiral, Hudson Yards and the Empire State Building as the sun sets in New York City on September 19, 2021 as seen from West Orange, New Jersey.  (Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)

Lovers of pumpkin spice, crisp temperatures, and cosy sweaters rejoice! This year's autumnal equinox is on Sept. 22, and it marks the official start of fall for the northern hemisphere. There's much to be celebrated about the long-anticipated arrival of cooler weather and seasonal flavours, and if you're into all things celestial, you'll be thrilled to hear that there is also a full moon happening on Sept. 20th! Tonight we will experience the harvest moon of 2021.

The harvest moon occurs every year in September or October, depending on the lunar calendar, and it is always the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox. The harvest moon gets its name from farmers harvesting the final batch of their summer crops, as the bright full moon gave them extra time to harvest into the evening. This year, the harvest moon will be fully visible around 7:54 p.m. EST. The harvest moon tends to appear larger and brighter than typical full moons because it is physically closer to the horizon, which changes the way your brain perceives it.

Across the globe, the harvest moon also brings about a time of thanks and celebration for various cultures. The Mid-Autumn Festival begins on Sept. 21 and takes place in countries across Asia including China, Japan, and Vietnam, and it is celebrated with family reunions and special foods like moon cakes. Similarly, Chuseok is celebrated in South Korea as a harvest-based holiday likened to Thanksgiving. Additionally, Jewish communities celebrate the harvest festival of Sukkot, which begins on Sept. 20.

In terms of its astrological implications, this harvest moon is rising in the sign of Pisces, bringing forth an exciting time of change and possibility. You may feel much more psychically connected, compassionate or empathetic, and definitely more in touch with your deeper emotions than usual. Oftentimes you can experience more vivid dreams or nightmares in this period, thanks to the intuitive and dreamy nature of Pisces. This is a great time to release energy no longer serving you, "harvest" new energy, and manifest abundance and opportunity in your life.

Just like the farmers taking advantage of the extra moonlight to harvest their crops, use this moment to focus your energy and effort into growing your own kind of abundance. Take some time to get intentional about what you want to leave behind versus what you want to call into your life now, and watch all of the wonderful things that positive energy will bring you!

Image Source: Getty / Gary Hershorn
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