The Moon of the Falling Leaves

October is my favorite month. That probably has something to do with it being my birth month, but I also love autumn, so that is a factor too.

Dry your barley land in October,
Or you’ll always be sober.

says an Anglo-Saxon poet, because October was a time for brewing.

Oktoberfest is a sixteen-day festival held each year in Munich, Germany, that actually begins in late September and runs into early October. It is one of the most famous events in Germany and the world’s largest fair, with some six million people attending every year, and is an important part of Bavarian culture.

Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations, modeled after the Munich event, and many brewers offer their own special Octoberfest beers.

That also gives us the lines: “Often drunk and seldom sober fall like the leaves in October.”

In American politics, an “October surprise” is an event thought to have been engineered to garner political support just before an election.

Roman Catholics traditionally dedicated October to the devotion of the rosary.

October was originally the eighth month of the calendar – “octo” meaning 8 as in octopus and octagon.

In the naming of full moons, this full moon is usually called the Hunter’s Full Moon – also known as Blood Moon or Sanguine Moon.

This is the first full moon after the Harvest Moon, which is the full moon nearest the autumnal equinox.  In most years, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October.

Hunter’s Moon was given to this moon time because it was the preferred month to hunt summer-fattened deer and for the hunts of the fox who is unable to hide in the baring fields.

Blood Moon is not the most Romantic name for a full moon, but it does not take its name from blood sacrifices. It is from the old custom of killing and salting down livestock before the winter months made it harder or impossible to feed them.

You might mark this time as a good time for “winterizing” the car, garden and house.

The Cherokee people called this a Harvest Moon, Dunin(i)di, and it is the time of the “Harvest Festival” Nowatequa. But the other Native American names for this full moon and those used by the ancient Druids and Wiccans are much more evocative.  From their names, –  including the Travel Moon, Dying Grass Moon, Moon When the Water Freezes, Moon of the Changing Seasons, Leaf Fall Moon, Basket Moon, Big Wind Moon, Shedding Moon, Winterfelleth (Winter Coming), Windermanoth (Vintage Month), Ten Colds Moon,  and the Moon of the Changing Season – I chose the Moon of Falling Leaves.

Go outside and crunch through some fallen leaves. Maybe even jump into a pile. Tonight, you can have that Octoberfest beer and watch the full moon rise.

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A lifelong educator on and off the Internet. Random by design and predictably irrational. It's turtles all the way down. Dolce far niente.

4 thoughts on “The Moon of the Falling Leaves”

  1. Thanks, Ken for the post. I love the month of October as well. The play and exchanges of some warm days and cool or cold evenings. The crickets singing goodbye at night. The approach of darkness at an earlier time. Also, there is something about the play of light at sunset this time of year this profoundly beautiful. For this it more the season the starting again than spring. The season of hope and love. As the the world fades and as the harvest ends, I feel like we begin again.


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