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The rise of fall: Harvest Moon, fall equinox are on their way


Is there a more welcome sign that the long, hot summer is finally over, and autumn is at hand than the Harvest Moon?

The Harvest Moon, which is always the full moon closest to the fall equinox, occurs at 3:59 a.m. MDT Saturday, Sept. 10.

The autumnal equinox is at 7:03 p.m. MDT Thursday, Sept. 22.

Before the advent of electricity, the full moon provided natural light for farmers to harvest their summer crops late into the night, and that likely is where the term harvest moon comes from. We have continued to reap the benefits of that glorious moniker in songs like “Shine On, Harvest Moon,” written by husband-and-wife Nora Bayes and Jack Norworth and published in 1908; in movies, poems and even video games.

In case you’re wondering, from Sept. 10, it is 51 days until Halloween, 57 days until daylight saving time ends (Nov. 6), 59 days until the 2022 general election (Nov. 8), 75 days until Thanksgiving (Nov. 24), 99 days until the start of Hannukah (Dec. 18) 106 days until Christmas and 107 days until Kwanzaa begins (Dec. 26).

Here are a few lines from “The Harvest Moon,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-82): “It is the Harvest Moon! … on the curtained window-panes/Of rooms where children sleep, on country lanes/And harvest-fields, its mystic splendor rests!”

Harvest Moon