The Chrysanthemum Moon of September

Most of the time, what we see as a Full Moon isn’t perfectly full. We always see the same side of the moon, but part of it is in shadow, due to the Moon’s rotation. Only when the Moon, Earth and the sun are perfectly aligned is the moon 100% full. That rarer alignment produces a lunar eclipse.

The September 10, 2022 Full Moon is often called the Harvest Moon (an Anglo-Saxon name) and it is fullest at 5:59 a.m. EDT. Technically, the Full Moon known as the Harvest Moon is the one closest to the September equinox around September 22. The Harvest Moon is the only Full Moon name determined by the equinox rather than by a calendar month. In most years, it is in September, but around every three years, it falls in October.

Actual crop harvests, such as corn, have nothing to do with Full Moon names though. The name Corn Moon is the version of harvest that a number of Native American tribes called this month’s Moon. The Celtic and Old English names include two harvest names – Wine Moon and Barley Moon – and also Song Moon.

The September Full Moon is sometimes called the Chinese Chrysanthemum Moon and it coincides with the Mid-Autumn Festival – also known as the Moon Festival. As with the British Midsummer Eve, September 10 is not mid-autumn in America as the autumn equinox won’t even arrive until the 22nd. But in my part of the U.S., this is when you start to see chrysanthemums blooming both in the ground and appearing at stores. They are often in autumn colors and used as decorations. Florist mums are not hardy in Paradelle, so even if you plant them, they will not make it through the winter, so we most commonly see them in pots or transplanted for the season around homes. I have associated mums with autumn since my childhood as our garden had a row of them in orange, bronze, red, purple, white, and yellow.

Mums at the garden center