Whispers of rebirth rattle the dusk-sodden leaves as our brazen summer fades to a smolder. Autumnal festivals abound in the crisper air, and farmers take stock of their bounties—delicious corn, pumpkin, squash, and wild rice—before the darkness seeps in.
"As you sow, so shall you reap," the witchlings of the wood mutter in earnest.
That's right... Fall's here. Well, very nearly.
The Harvest Moon is the full moon that lands nearest the Autumn Equinox—or Mabon, as the holiday is known to Celts and pagan communities. This year, the moon acts as Mabon's luminous harbinger; most of North America will enjoy the large red-orange orb on the eve of Friday, September 13th, while it graces much of the rest of the world on the 14th.
As with many celestial events, various civilizations worldwide celebrate the Harvest Moon in their own ways. All across China and Vietnam, the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival will commence, lasting from Friday through Saturday to express thanksgiving for the past and the end of their harvest. Likewise, Celtic and Druidic communities mark the Harvest Moon as a time of reflection for their agricultural efforts, and to appreciate the darkness of winter as it fast approaches.
Outside of these century-worn traditions, it may seem a tad odd to celebrate the harvest when mo