Friday the 13th Harvest Moon is cultural celebration for the Chinese

MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Friday the 13th this month also brought us a Harvest Moon. This full moon represents the end of summer and the continuation of the harvest season for farmers.


Superstitions aside, the yearly Harvest Moon is the Mid-Autumn festival for the Chinese culture.

"There's a lot of old ancient poems about the moon festival that talks about singing to the moon and thinking about our family who are not around," said Chia Witsai, Instructor at ULM.

The Harvest Moon falls just before the autumnal equinox every year.
For the Chinese culture, it's typically on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar. This year, it fell on Friday the thirteenth, but there's nothing spooky about the holiday for the Chinese.

"We're not seeing the moon in the day, you would focus on the moon, like hey, the moon is so big, let's eat moon cake, let's have barbeque party, let's hang out together," said Witsai.

It’s a day to spend time with loved ones -- making lanterns, sharing the love, and eating moon cakes.

Moon cakes are shaped like the full moon which represents prosperity and fullness for the whole family.

This is the second moon festival for the International Student Association (ISA) at ULM. They hold the event to educate others on its history while making international students feel right at home.

"This is nowhere near a perfect way how we would celebrate moon festival in China, but still it's something we're doing for them and makes them feel at home," said Yogesh Agrawal, ULM International Student Association President.

The Harvest Moon has a different meaning for western cultures. It represents the hard work of farmers as summer comes to an end.

"The farmers use the extra daylight that was provided by the moon to gather the crops after sunset, thus the name harvest moon," said Don Wheeler, former Earth Science and Meteorology professor.

If the moon seems far away, that’s because it’s also a mini-moon.

"It's farther away so therefore it will not be quite as large nor quite as bright as some that we have seen in the past," said Wheeler.

The next time a Harvest Moon will happen on Friday the 13th will be 2049.