NASA has shared an image of the ‘Harvest Moon’ which goes by numerous other names such as the Fruit or Barley Moon; the Corn Moon; the start of the Sukkoth Holiday; the Mid-Autumn, Mooncake, or Reunion Festival Moon; the Chuseok Festival Moon; Imo Meigetsu or the Potato Harvest Moon; the start of Pitru Paksha; the Honey-offering Festival Moon; the Binara Pura Pasalosvaka Poya; and the Grail and Ladee Moon.

“Tonight’s full Moon is known to some as the Harvest Moon, but it takes on different names in other traditions around the world. Go outside, marvel, and tell us what it symbolizes for you,” tweeted NASA via its official Twitter handle.

When to spot the Moon

The full moon event took place on September 20, 2021 at 7:55 pm EDT and will appear full for about three days around the same time all the way through Wednesday morning. On Tuesday, the moon will be visible in parts of Africa, Europe, and across Asia and Australia.

As the full Moon closest to the autumnal equinox, this is the Harvest Moon, an old European name. The Oxford English Dictionary gives 1706 as the year of its first published use. Farmers sometimes need to work late by the light of the Moon for the harvest, explains NASA.

Duration of the Moon

On average, the full Moon rises about 50 minutes later each night, but around the Harvest Moon, moonrise seems to be 25 to 30 minutes later across the northern United States, and 10 to 20 minutes later farther north in Canada and Europe.

Harvest Moon and significance of Pitru Paksha

In Indian tradition, about a fortnight of Pitru Paksha is observed to pay tributes to ancestor each year. The 16-day period is also referred to as Shradh or Chaturmas period. Hindus believe that the soul wanders in various worlds once a person dies and to ensure peace for the soul, people perform certain rituals. The Harvest Moon marked the beginning of Pitru Paksha on September 20, and will end on October 6.

Also read: Rare ‘Blue Moon’ to appear for sky gazers on Halloween

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