September Full Moon

The September Full Moon is famously known as either the Full Corn Moon or the Harvest Moon. Its name solely depends on the autumnal equinox. This Full Moon typically occurs in September; however, it is also in October once every three years.

The Harvest Full Moon name is given to the closest Full Moon to the September equinox, which denotes the start of fall/autumn. The September Full Moon bears these names since crops are usually harvested in the early fall. 

The Naming of the September Moon

Another reason for its naming is that this Moon is allowed farmers to work the fields and harvest their crops for a longer period in the evenings.

This is because the Moon rises about 50 minutes later every day in a lunar month, which is the time it takes the Moon to travel through all of its phases. However, for a couple of days around the Harvest Moon, the Moon rises less than 50 minutes later than the day before.

Like in most cases, the effects are reversed in the southern hemisphere. There, the seasons are opposite, and thus the September equinox is the vernal equinox.

The Moon thus rises more than 50 minutes later than in the previous days around the Harvest Moon, and as such, the Harvest Moon effect is experienced by people around the March equinox.

Other Names for the September Full Moon

The September Full Moon is probably the most famous out of all the Full Moons. All the Full Moon names may have originated from ancient Native American traditions.

Another origin is associated with the Anglo-Saxons. Some point out that this name was recorded as early as in the 700s in Anglo-Saxon and Old High Germanic languages.

The Harvest Moon, and thus the September equinox, occurs simultaneously with many cultural events, customs, and religious beliefs, which leads to many different names being associated with this Moon.

September Full Moon Festivals

The September Full Moon is celebrated in China through the Mid-Autumn Festival, known as the Moon Festival. This harvest festival is celebrated by the people of Vietnam, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.

Many people across the US celebrate the September Full Moon through festivals. These festivals consist of farmer markets, beer and wine tasting, craft fairs, concerts, and other entertainment forms.

Among the most common Native American names for the September Full Moon is Full Corn Moon, or Barley Moon. These names don’t actually vary with the equinox.

Regardless, most of the Moon names associated with the September Full Moon are related to crops, since it corresponds with the time of harvesting corn.

The September Moon often coincides with the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival. The seventh month of the Chinese calendar is the ghost month, and the full moon day is called Ghost Day.

This is a period when the Chinese celebrate their ancestors, and it is said that the spirit of the deceased, spirits, ghosts, come to visit the living.

The Hindus in Kerala, India, celebrate the September Full Moon of 2020 since it marks the end of the 10-day celebration of Onam, which began in August.

However, this Full Moon has another meaning for them as it marks the start of Pitri or Pitru Paksha, which translates to “fortnight of the ancestors.” Like the aforementioned Chinese festival, this celebration is dedicated to the ancestors, as Hindus pay homage to them, especially through food offerings.

Some Buddhists in Bangladesh and Thailand refer to this Full Moon as Modhu Purnima – known as the Honey Full Moon or the Honey-offering festival.

This particular festival is tied to a legend which portrays Buddha. An elephant and a monkey offered him some fruits and a honeycomb so that he would bring peace between the two factions.

In Sri Lanka, the September Full Moon is known as Binara Pura Pasalosvaka Poya Day, a festival commemorating the Buddhist Bhikkhuni Order’s establishment.

The Many Names of the September Full Moon

Some other Full Moon names for September include Autumn Moon, Child Moon, Falling Leaves Moon (since it is the nearest Full Moon to the autumnal equinox), Leaves Turning Moon, Mating Moon, Moon of Brown Leaves, Rutting Moon, or Yellow Leaf Moon, among many others.

In the southern hemisphere, the September Full Moon is known as Worm Moon, Lenten Moon, Crow Moon, Sugar Moon, Chaste Moon, or Sap Moon, among other names.

What Date is the September Full Moon in 2020?

In 2020, we will experience a Full Corn Moon on September 2, beginning at 1:22 am. According to the Maine Farmer’s Almanac, this Full Moon name originates from the native Algonquin tribes of America, and it will last for three days.

The Algonquin named this Moon as such since this was their period of harvesting main staple crops of corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice.

What Date is the September Full Moon in 2021?

In 2021, we will witness the September Full Moon on September 21. It will begin at 02:54 am, and it will probably last for three days.

What Does the September Full Moon Symbolize?

The September Full Moon is associated with many legends, festivals, and religious rituals. For example, many Asians link it with their ancestors’ spirits, and they celebrate them during this Full Moon.

Since this is when people reap what they sow, it is quite natural that they are reminiscent of those that are no longer here. They are grateful for what their ancestors strived to achieve and what they inherited, but this is also due to their own hard work.

What is the Spiritual Meaning of the September Full Moon?

Since the September Full Moon is associated with many ceremonies and festivals, its spiritual meaning is vast. For some, it represents cleansing; for others, it’s all about being grateful towards your ancestors and remembering the dead.

This is the period when all the hard work pays off, and it is a period when you should put off any conflicts, especially those that are family-related, and enjoy life as it is.

This is when all of our hard work should come to a temporary end, and we should all celebrate our doings, cherishing our loved ones, and commemorating the departed.

What is the Moon Schedule for 2020?

In 2020 we will have 13 Full Moons, and some of them are Supermoons. Here is the list of when they will occur:

  • January 10 – 2:21 pm / 14:21 Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse
  • February 9 – 2:33 am / 02:33 Full Snow Moon
  • March 9 – 1:48 pm / 13:48 Super Worm Moon
  • April 7 – 10:35 pm / 22:35 Super Pink Moon
  • May 7 – 6:45 am / 06:45 Flower Supermoon
  • June 5 – 3:12 pm / 15:12 Full Strawberry Moon
  • July 5 – 12:44 am / 12:44, Full Buck Moon
  • August 3 – 11:59 am / 11:59 Full Sturgeon Moon
  • September 2 – 1:22 am / 01:22 Full Corn Moon
  • October 1 – 5:05 pm / 17:05 Full Harvest Moon
  • October 31 – 9:49 am / 09:49 Full Hunter’s Moon
  • November 30 – 4:30 am / 04:30 Full Beaver Moon
  • December 29 – 10:28 pm / 22:28 Full Cold Moon

What is the Moon Schedule for 2021?

In 2021 we will have only 12 Full Moons, and here is when they will occur:

  • January 28 – Full Wolf Moon
  • February 27 – Full Snow moon
  • March 28 – Full worm moon
  • April 27 – Full Pink Moon
  • May 26 – Full Flower Moon
  • June 24 – Full Strawberry Moon
  • July 24 – Full Buck Moon
  • August 22 – Full Sturgeon Moon
  • September 21 – Full Corn moon
  • October 20 – Full Hunter’s Moon
  • November 19 – Full Beaver Moon
  • December 19 – Full Cold Moon

Did you know?

  • The Europeans know the September Full Moon as the Fruit Moon since various fruits ripen as the end of summer approaches. It is also known as the Barley Moon due to the harvesting and threshing of the barley.
  • Some of the newer names for the September Full Moon are Grail Moon and LADEE Moon, which were named after a couple of spacecraft missions.
  • A popular computer game was named after this Moon, and it is known as Harvest Moon.
  • The 1992 Album and song – Harvest Moon – by Canadian musician Neil Young is also somewhat dedicated to this Moon.
  • The name Harvest Moon was made popular in the 20th century by the song Shine on Harvest Moon by Nora Bayes and Jack Norworth in 1903.


  1. Earthsky
  2. Almanac
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Space
  5. Timeanddate
  6. NASA

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