It’s Friday 13, and the air is quickly becoming crisp and autumnal. If ever there was a day to feel a little shiver of pre-Halloween creepiness, it’s today.
And – in a spooky twist of fate – today also coincides with a full Harvest Moon; making this evening a prime time for werewolves and witches to roam wild and free.
A full moon on Friday 13 is quite a rare occurrence. The last one rose on October 13, 2000, and we won’t see another one until August 13, 2049.
Depending on whereabouts you live in the world, the Harvest Moon will peak on Friday, September 13 or in the early hours of Saturday, September 14.
This moon is the opposite of a ‘super moon’, and is known as a ‘micro moon’. This means it will be 14 per cent smaller than the average full moon, being at the furthest possible point from the Earth: a full 252,100 miles away.
The Harvest Moon is the full moon which occurs closest to the September equinox each year, and signals the coming of the autumn season.
A rare type of full moon will appear this Friday 13th, for the last time for 30 years, which farmers reportedly believe brings good luck… Will you be lucky? Ps. Don’t dare leave the house 😂 #HarvestMoon #FridayThe13th pic.twitter.com/kIcrJrBl7s
— UK HAUNTED® (@UKHaunted) September 12, 2019
According to NASA, the Harvest Moon has symbolic meaning as farmers sometimes work late into the night by moonlight in preparation for the winter ahead, with the word first used in the year 1706.
Astronomer Deborah Byrd of EarthSky.org told the Daily Express:
In the days before tractor lights, the lamp of the Harvest Moon helped farmers to gather their crops, despite the diminishing daylight hours.
As the Sun’s light faded in the west, the Moon would soon rise in the east to illuminate the fields throughout the night.
Who named the Harvest Moon? That name probably sprang to the lips of farmers throughout the Northern Hemisphere, on autumn evenings, as the Harvest Moon aided in bringing in the crops.
— Stonehenge U.K (@ST0NEHENGE) September 13, 2019
Luckily – for such a famously unlucky day – Met Office have said skies over the UK will be quite clear on Friday evening, perfect conditions for star gazers to catch a glimpse of it.
The next moon after the Harvest Moon will be the Fruit Moon, followed by the Barley Moon, the Corn Moon, the Mid-Autumn Festival Moon, the Chuseok Moon, the Modhu Purnima and the Binara Pura Pasalosvaka Poya.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.