Handbags at Full Moon

And so finally the September sketch for my calendar! Two people suggested the moon, as associated with the Autumn Equinox. This confused me as I was under the impression that the equinox is all about the sun and the moon has nothing to do with it…

Well of course, this is true: the equinox is simply when day and night are of equal length, and that would all be down to the sun, but, though I’d heard of a Harvest Moon I’d not realized the significance of what the moon is up to at this time of the year. My idea of a Harvest Moon is simply when it’s big and round and red, and, er, at harvest time?

It turns out that the Harvest Moon is specifically the full moon closest to the Autumn exuinox, and that this time is a bit special. It all comes down to a narower than usual angle of the moons orbit with respect to the horizon, and, well, results in a lot of moonlight and very little actual dark at a time when it might be very handy to be able to work all day and all night to get in the harvest.

From a friend I also discover that Shah Jahan (who built the Taj Mahal… or at least caused it to be built) held white banquets on September full moon at the aforementioned Taj Mahal, where all the guests wore white, the food was white and, of course, the setting was white. From Wikipedia I also learn of a legend that he planned a black Taj Mahal for himself, though the same website also states that ‘There is no reputable scholarship to support this hypothesis‘… spoilsports… doesn’t usually stop Wikipedia!

So, back to the moon:

Handbags at Full Moon
Handbags at Full Moon

Yep, 9 fairies for September. If they look a bit weird and faceless it is because I intend to paint these ones as more-or-less black silhouettes, with a bright moon behind and a dark sky. I rather fear that this fairy picture is getting unusually ‘airy-fairy’ for me, and for this I apologise, and I have given the female ones handbags to alleviate this impression. I had in fact at one point a devil goose-stepping around the circle with the fairies, making up the ninth figure, but it really didn’t add to the composition!

Well, frankly at this point I am feeling I really should get a move on, so airy-fairy we will have to stick with, if only for September. It has been a week with little artwork and no posts, life has got in the way more than usual. But… deep breath… only November to go now!

So, while you’re waiting for me to get on with that, here is something to ponder: From the Farmers Almanac.com I find that it is not only the Harvest moon that has a name, they all have – have a look at the table below. The origins seem to be native American. Just think, wouldn’t it be fun to work pictures for a calendar around these? Only…er… there are 13 lunar months and not 12 per year, and that’s going to get slightly confusing… a mere technical difficulty of course 😀

Full Moon Calendar 2013
January 26th Full Wolf Moon 11:38 pm
February 25th Full Snow Moon 3:26 pm
March 27th Full Worm Moon 5:27 am
April 25th Full Pink Moon 3:57 pm
May 25th Full Flower Moon 12:25 am
June 23rd Full Strawberry Moon 7:32 am
July 22nd Full Thunder Moon 2:16 pm
August 20th Full Sturgeon Moon 9:45 pm
September 19th Full Harvest Moon 7:13 am
October 18th Full Hunter’s Moon 7:38 pm
November 17th Full Beaver Moon 10:16 am
December 17th Full Cold Moon 4:28 am


  1. I’d heard of the Harvest Moon and the Hunter’s Moon but the rest are new to me. I was told the significance of the Harvest Moon was due to the fact that full moons always rise about sunset and set about sunrise. This therefore allowed the farm labourers “in olden times” to continue harvesting well into the night. Keep us informed about ordering our copies of the calendar.

    1. Yes I hadn’t heard about all the others either – the website seems to be generally North American and talks about harvesting a range of crops all of which are traditional ‘Indian’ species… did a slight double-take there until I realized what they meant. I feel for the purposes of an international website ‘RED-Indian’ would be clearer, and ‘Native American’ more enlightened, but still, the Farmer’s Almanac says it has been going since 1818 (pre-web, one imagines) so perhaps we can forgive them for being a little old-fashioned!
      Will let you know about the calendar as soon as I have worked out the details – I’ll make a page on my site where you can buy them.

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