Thursday, 3 September 2009
Preparing for The Harvest Moon
The Harvest Moon - Photographer Unknown
Thank you to Jane: Yes, Harvest moon is *next* month this year! My Susan Branch Calendar has it as being September, but it is in fact October! Thank you For pointing this out :)
Here is how we enjoy The Harvest Moon in our home:
We talk about the science:
All full moons rise around the time of sunset. However, although in general the moon rises about 50 minutes later each day, as it moves in orbit around Earth, the Harvest Moon and Hunter's Moon are special, because around the time of these full moons, the time difference between moonrise on successive evenings is shorter than usual. In other words, the moon rises approximately 30 minutes later, from one night to the next, for several evenings around the full Hunter's or Harvest Moons. Thus there is no long period of darkness between sunset and moonrise around the time following these full moons. In times past this feature of these autumn moons was said to help farmers working to bring in their crops (or, in the case of the Hunter's Moon, hunters tracking their prey). They could continue being productive by moonlight even after the sun had set. Hence the name Harvest (or Hunter's) Moon.
The Harvest Moon is said to come before or after the autumnal equinox. It is simply the full moon closest to that equinox. About once every four years it occurs in October, depending on the cycles of the moon.
Often, the Harvest Moon seems to be bigger or brighter or more colorful than other moons. These effects have to do with the seasonal tilt of the earth. The warm color of the moon shortly after it rises is an optical illusion, based on the fact that the moon low in the sky, you are looking at it through a greater amount of atmospheric particles than than when the moon is overhead. The atmosphere scatters the bluish component of moonlight (which is really reflected white light from the sun), but allows the reddish component of the light to travel a straighter path to your eyes. Hence all moons (and stars and planets) look reddish when they are low in the sky.
As for the large size of a full moon when seen low in the sky, it is true that the human eye perceives a low-hanging moon to be larger than one that's high in the sky.
Harvest festivals are traditionally held on or near the Sunday of the Harvest Moon. This is the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox (about Sept. 23). In two years out of three, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October.
We think about our God who created the heavens & the earth:
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
And the evening and the morning were the third day.
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
We read: Hello, Harvest Moon by Ralph Fletcher
Mold in your hands beeswax harvest moons whilst listening to the story.
We bake Pumpkin Moonshine Cake
• 4 eggs • 2 cups sugar
• 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil • 1 can (one pound) pumpkin puree
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice • 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons baking soda • 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 cups walnut pieces
Preheat oven to GM 4
Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan or tube pan. In a large mixing bowl, mix the eggs with a large fork until well blended. Mix in the sugar. Add the oil in a steady stream, mixing all the while, until the mixture is thick and smooth. Mix in the pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, clove and salt. Add the baking soda and baking powder in pinches, breaking up any lumps with your fingers. Stir in thoroughly. Stir in the whole wheat and all-purpose flours just until blended. Stir in the walnuts.
Pour and scrape the batter into the pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Invert, remove the pan, and cool on the rack for about 15 minutes more.