September – The Month For Harvest Festivals
I always associate the month of September with harvest festivals. It is the final month of the summer and the traditional month of harvest festivals. This is because harvest festivals always tended to follow the lunar calendar rather than the 12-month one that had been in use since Roman times. In the British Isles, harvest festivals are traditionally celebrated on whichever Sunday falls closest to the harvest moon. In many cases, this will be on the third or fourth weekend of September, but depending on the lunar calendar, it can also occur in the first week of October. This year it falls on Tuesday 21st September.
Basically, a harvest moon is a full moon. This one is deemed to be special because it occurs closest to the autumn equinox, something that was of huge significance in pagan times. As this old, pagan tradition became part of the usual activities of the parish church, so it was shifted to the nearest sabbath day to the harvest moon rather than on the day itself. That’s why harvest festivals can now shift around quite a bit.
Regardless of exactly when they occur, harvest festivals often still mean just as much to Christians as they do to many non-believers. From my perspective as someone who has worked outdoors for all of my working life, the harvest festival weekend is something of a landmark. For me, it means the summer is over and the autumn is upon us. It reminds me of years past spent at Wyfordby Church with my Mum, Dad and brothers celebrating harvest festival then back to Freeby village Hall for harvest supper.
With the harvest brought in landowners start to make preparations for winter and get on with the sort of jobs you cannot do in the depths of mid-winter when the ground is frozen. This might be maintaining fencing, ditching, drainage, improving pasture and hedgecutting. For me, it is one of those rhythm things – you know, the point in time when you don’t necessarily always notice the change but, all of a sudden, you’re doing different jobs and, perhaps, going off to work with an extra layer in case you might need it later.
If you are looking for help with those autumn tasks, need a little extra manpower, have big bushes to cut or simply want to make sure your land is in good condition before the nights really start to draw in, then why not give me a call on 07711 698546.
Until next time folks!