Harvest Moon SwStr - History

Harvest Moon

The full moon nearest the autumnal equinox.

(SwStr: t. 546, 1. 193', b. 29'; dr. 8'; s. 15 k.; a. 4 24-pdr. how.)

Harvest Moon, a side-wheel steamer, was built in 1863 at Portland, Maine, and was purchased by Commodore Montgomery from Charles Spear at Boston, Mass., 16 November 1863. She was fitted out for blockade duty at Boston Navy Yard and commissioned 12 February 1864 Acting Lieutenant J. D. Warren in command.

Assigned to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron Harvest Moon departed Boston 18 February and arrived off Charleston 25 February 1864. Next day Rear Admiral Dahlgren made the steamer his flagship. After putting into Washington Navy Yard for repairs. Harvest Moon began her regular blockading duties 7 June 1864 off Charleston. For the next 9 months the steamer served off Tybee Island, the North Edisto River, and Charleston harbor. During this period she also acted as a picket and dispatch vessel as well as Admiral Dahlgren's flagship.

While proceeding in company with tug Clover shortly after 0800 on 29 February 1865 Harvest Moon struck a torpedo in Winyah Bay, S.C. Admiral Dahlgren, awaiting breakfast in his cabin, saw the bulkhead shatter and explode toward him. The explosion blew a large hole in the ship's hull aft and she sank in 21/2 fathoms of water. One man was killed. The Admiral, and the crew, were taken on board Nipsic. Harvest Moon was stripped of her valuable machinery and abandoned 21 April 1865. In 1963, nearly 100 years later, a project was initiated to raise Harvest Moon from the mud at the bottom of Winyah Bay and to restore the ship, but has made little headway.

A Rare Harvest ‘Micromoon’ Will Light Up the Sky on Friday the 13th

A harvest moon—or the full moon that happens nearest to the fall equinox—is due to appear in the sky on the night of Friday the 13th. It may be an inauspicious date, but fans of lunar phenomena will find themselves feeling lucky, because something rare is set to happen this year. The harvest moon often appears large and orange, since many people observe it as it surfaces above the horizon. But in 2019, the harvest moon will seem unusually small.

As Jenna Amatulli reports for the Huffington Post, this phenomenon is known as a “micromoon,” which occurs when a full moon happens close to the lunar apogee, or the point at which the moon is farthest from Earth. (A supermoon, which appears large in the sky, happens when the full moon coincides with the perigee, or the moon’s closest approach to our planet). To people watching from the ground, a micromoon looks around 14 percent smaller than a typical full moon, according to the Time and Date.

The Harvest micromoon is a rare occurrence, according to Amatulli. Typically, the moon rises at an average of 50 minutes later each day, but around the time of the autumnal equinox, that difference shrinks to just 30 minutes each day. “The reason for this seasonal circumstance is that at this time of the year, the path of the moon through the sky is as close to being along the horizon as it can get,” the Farmer’s Almanac explains. “Thus, from night to night the moon moves more horizontally than vertically and thus rises sooner from one night to the next.”

This early moonrise allows farmers to continue working after sunset by the light of the full moon during the height of the harvest season—hence the moon’s name.

For skywatchers in the Eastern time zone, the harvest moon will turn full at around 12:33 a.m. on September 14, but those in the Central, Mountain and Pacific time zones will be able to catch it just before midnight on the 13th. There hasn’t been a nation-wide full moon on Friday the 13th since October 2000, and the next one won’t happen until August 13, 2049.

So if basking under a full moon on a spooky night sounds like your jam, now is your chance to make it happen. Head to a spot with minimal light pollution for the best view, and watch as the full—albeit slightly smaller than usual—celestial body illuminates the night sky.

Fall Equinox Definition

Equinox comes from the Latin words �qui,” which means equal, and “nox,” or night. On the equinox, day and night are of nearly equal length across the planet.

As the Earth orbits the sun, it is tilted at a fixed angle. For half the year, the North Pole is tilted slightly toward the sun, bringing longer days to the Northern Hemisphere, while the South Pole is tilted slightly away from the sun, bringing fewer hours of sunlight to the Southern Hemisphere.

Then, as the Earth continues to move around the sun at its fixed angle, the North Pole is tilted slightly away from the sun. The equinox marks the point of the year where this transition occurs, and on the equinox the part of Earth closest to the sun is the equator, rather than places north or south.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the September equinox marks the first day of fall. The reverse is true in the Southern Hemisphere where the September equinox signals the first day of spring.

Moon Names by Month

Month Name Description Alternative NamesJanuary Full Wolf Moon The howling of wolves was often heard at this time of year. It was traditionally thought that wolves howled due to hunger, but we now know that wolves use howls to define territory, locate pack members, reinforce social bonds, and gather for hunting.

• Canada Goose Moon
• Center Moon
• Cold Moon
• Freeze Moon
• Frost Exploding Moon
• Great Moon
• Greetings Moon
• Hard Moon
• Severe Moon
• Spirit Moon

• Bald Eagle Moon
• Bear Moon
• Month of the Bony Moon
• Eagle Moon
• Groundhog Moon
• Hungry Moon
• Raccoon Moon

• Crow Comes Back Moon
• Eagle Moon
• Goose Moon
• Snow Crust Moon
• Sore Eye Moon
• Sugar Moon
• Wind Strong Moon

• Breaking Ice Moon
• Broken Snowshoe Moon
• Budding Moon of Plants and Shrubs
• Frog Moon
• Moon of the Red Grass Appearing
• Moon When the Ducks Come Back
• Moon When the Geese Lay Eggs
• Moon When the Streams are Again Navigable
• Sucker Moon
• Sugar Maker Moon

• Budding Moon
• Egg Laying Moon
• Frog Moon
• Leaf Budding Moon
• Planting Moon
• Moon of Shedding Ponies

• Berries Ripen Moon
• Birth Moon
• Blooming Moon
• Egg Laying Moon
• Hatching Moon
• Green Corn Moon
• Hot Moon
• Hoer Moon

• Berry Moon
• Feather Moulting Moon
• Halfway Summer Moon
• Month of the Ripe Corn Moon
• Moon When the Chokecherries are Ripe
• Raspberry Moon
• Salmon Moon
• Thunder Moon

• Black Cherries Moon
• Corn Moon
• Flying Up Moon
• Harvest Moon
• Mountain Shadows Moon
• Ricing Moon

• Autumn Moon
• Child Moon
• Falling Leaves Moon
• Harvest Moon
• Leaves Turning Moon
• Mating Moon
• Moon of Brown Leaves
• Moon When the Rice is Laid Up to Dry
• Rutting Moon
• Yellow Leaf Moon

• Drying Rice Moon
• Falling Leaves Moon
• Freezing Moon
• Ice Moon
• Migrating Moon

• Deer Rutting Moon
• Digging/Scratching Moon
• Freezing Moon
• Frost Moon
• Whitefish Moon

• Drift Clearing Moon
• Frost Exploding Trees Moon
• Hoar Frost Moon
• Little Spirit Moon
• Long Night Moon
• Mid-winter Moon
• Moon of the Popping Trees
• Moon When the Deer Shed Their Antlers
• Snow Moon
• Winter Maker Moon

Why Native Americans Named the Moons

The early Native Americans did not record time by using the months of the Julian or Gregorian calendar. Many tribes kept track of time by observing the seasons and lunar months, although there was much variability. For some tribes, the year contained 4 seasons and started at a certain season, such as spring or fall. Others counted 5 seasons to a year. Some tribes defined a year as 12 Moons, while others assigned it 13. Certain tribes that used the lunar calendar added an extra Moon every few years, to keep it in sync with the seasons.

Each tribe that did name the full or new Moons (and/or lunar months) had its own naming preferences. Some would use 12 names for the year while others might use 5, 6, or 7 also, certain names might change the next year. A Moon name used by one tribe might differ from one used by another tribe for the same time period, or be the same name but represent a different time period. The name itself was often a description relating to a particular activity/event that usually occurred during that time in their location.

Colonial Americans adopted some of the Native American Moon names and applied them to their own calendar system (primarily Julian, and later, Gregorian) they also brought their own traditions from Europe. Since the Gregorian calendar is the system that many in North America use today, that is how we have presented the list of Moon names, as a frame of reference.

Moon Name Reference Sources

If you are interested in learning more, below are credible reference sources for these Full Moon Names—from Native American organizations to early American historical references.

    Chamberlain, South Dakota
    Pilwakanagan, Ontario
  • Western Abenaki
  • Online Cree Dictionary
  • “Travels Through the Interior Parts of North America, in the Years 1766, 1767, 1768”
    by Captain Jonathan Carver, first published in 1781.
    P. 250-252
    [Editor’s Note: Carver’s book is referenced by Meriweather Lewis, secretary for Thomas Jefferson.]
  • “A Dakota-English Dictionary”
    by Stephen Return Riggs
    Washington: Government Printing Office, 1890

Other Full Moon Names

The following Moon names came into popular use more recently and do not refer to any specific month’s Moon:

  • Blue Moon: Occasionally, two full Moons occur within the same calendar month. The first full Moon goes by the name normally assigned to that month’s full Moon, but the second full Moon is commonly called a Blue Moon. Blue Moons occur about every 2½ years.
  • Black Moon: In contrast to the Blue Moon, Black Moon has been used to refer to a month in which there is no full Moon this can only occur in February, because the calendar month has fewer days (28 or 29 days) than the lunar month (about 29.5 days). The term may also refer to a second new Moon occurring within a calendar month by this definition, a Black Moon can never occur in February.
  • Supermoon: A full Moon is said to be a “Supermoon” when it is at the point in its orbit closest to Earth. In astronomy, the terms “perigee syzygy” or “perigee full Moon” are typically used instead of “Supermoon.” Learn more about Supermoons.

When Is the Next Full Moon?

Check out our Full Moon Calendar to see when the next full Moon will happen, and see our Moon Phase Calendar to find the Moon phase for a specific date!

Here is our British harvest guide, looking at the history and traditions of this bountiful season.

When is harvest in the UK?

In the UK the harvest festival, also known as the harvest home, is traditionally celebrated on the Sunday nearest the harvest moon. This is the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox, which is often between 21-23 September.

Normally falling towards the end of September, or early October, the harvest festival is the closest thing we have to a day of thanksgiving. Although today we can plan a fixed day for this celebration, in the past the harvest festival differed, based on when all the crops had been brought in. The whole community, including children, needed to help right up until the end, as lives depended on the success of the harvest.

In the past they would be held as soon as the harvest had been completed and the final cartload triumphantly returned to the farm where the Harvest Supper, also known as the ‘Harvest Home’, would take place.

How long does the harvest season last?

At their most lavish the meal would brim with several meats, vegetables, puddings, tarts and ale, and would be accompanied by singing, drinking games and much reverie. One Shropshire tradition in the early 19 th century was the arrival of the ‘Old Sow’ – two men dressed in sacks that were filled with prickly furze cuttings which barbed anyone they approached. That just left the gleaning, the act of collecting any leftover crops in the field which was carried out by the farm women. All of which was to be conducted by St Michael’s Mass on the 29 th September, the signifier for the end of harvest.

What is the history of the harvest?

By looking back through the history and customs associated with harvest we can see why it is such a crucial date in the country calendar, says Duncan Haskell

The word ‘harvest’ comes from the Old English word hærfest meaning ‘autumn’, aptly the season for gathering the food of the land. This was a vital time of year, when success was a genuine matter of life or death. A prosperous harvest ensured that a community would be fed throughout the potentially barren winter months. It’s therefore no surprise that it was also a time steeped in superstition and, if successful, much celebration. Many of these traditions even pre-date Christianity.

With technological advances lessening our dependence on the seasons and the number of people working on the land greatly reduced over the last two centuries, surviving practises are now mainly symbolic in nature. Even during the pre-mechanised past it would be incorrect to suggest that there was a uniform approach to harvest or a common set of beliefs and customs, there were vast regional differences throughout the country. What did unite everyone though was the importance of crop gathering and the reverence in which harvest was held. What follows are some of the better known examples from the past…

Roaming groups of labourers would seek employment from farms at the start of the season, in Norfolk they would drag their sickles along the floor to announce their arrival. A ‘Lord of the Harvest’ would be appointed and was in charge of negotiating rates and conditions of labour. Leading his workers (‘reapers’) as they scythed the fields, he would be served first at mealtimes.

The church festival that is the most common harvest celebration still held today originated in Morwenstow, Cornwall in 1843, when Reverend Robert Hawker invited the parishioners of his church into his home to receive the Sacrament in “the bread of the new corn.” Whether from the Divine, the elements or the mystical, all help was gratefully received.

Now that most of us neither sow nor reap what we eat, it is almost impossible to imagine how crucial this time of year was in the calendar, but by knowing a little of the history and keeping these traditions alive we are honouring those who depended upon it.

The golden age of the harvest

Jonathan Brown revisits harvests of more than 150 years ago, when all the work was done by hand and everyone was roped in to help out.

In 1863, the farmer of Little Somborne Farm in Hampshire wrote in his diary: “Began harvest on the 2nd August and up to the 25th the weather was delightful, which enabled us to get a splendid wheat crop saved in the best of order and a great portion of barley and oats.” The weather broke at the end of August, but it did not spoil the harvest, which, according to many accounts from around the country, was the best crop of wheat for about 30 years.

Fine weather and healthy crops meant good conditions for the harvest, and most of it was got in quickly – unlike the disastrously wet year of 1879, when some crops were still uncut in November. Bounty had its downside, and the prices fell – the price of wheat was 20 percent less in 1863 than it had been the previous year – but in general, this could be counted a golden year. A golden year in a golden age: one of the first historians of British agriculture coined the phrase ‘golden age’ to describe the 1850s and 1860s, when everything looked rosy for the arable farmer. Prices were good, imports were low. The name has stuck, despite all the revisions of interpretation made by later historians.

All hands to the fields

The corn harvest began in early August – a few weeks later than is usual now. It followed hard on gathering in the hay in early summer, making for a very busy few weeks for everyone on the farm – and beyond the farm, too, for the workload was greater than the regular labour force could manage. Every available man and woman, and many a child, was needed to get the crop in.
Farmers in the arable districts were anxious about the labour force as harvest approached, and complaining of shortages. About a million regular farmworkers were employed in England and Wales in the mid-19th century, but numbers swelled during harvest, especially in the eastern arable counties. To augment their regular workers, farmers turned to anybody willing to present an able body. The village wives were recruited, and there were all sorts of casual and migrant workers – tramps, gypsies and especially the Irishmen. People used to come out from the towns to help as well, but by the 1860s, the demands of industry were reducing that supply of workers. The hop harvest in Kent was the last survival of that practice, petering out in the 20th century.

Cereal crops – wheat, barley, oats – were cut by hand in the 1860s, which was why there was such a great demand for workers. There were machines to do the job: as long ago as 1828, Patrick Bell had built one for his farm in Scotland, but it did not catch on. An American firm showed a redesigned model at the Great Exhibition in 1851, which attracted more attention, but by 1863, few farmers had bought a reaping machine. Each one cost about £25, and most farmers were unsure that was justified for a machine used just four weeks a year. It still seemed cost-effective to employ gangs of men using hand tools, despite the anxiety of finding the workers.

That’s not to say the work in the harvest field had been unchanging. It had metamorphosed, as more efficient scythes and bagging hooks replaced reaphooks and sickles as tools for cutting the corn. There were regional preferences about the use of the tools: Somborne was in a scythe-using zone. Scythes and bagging hooks were bigger and cut with a swishing, mowing action, rather than the sawing of the small-bladed sickle, so the crop was cut more quickly. Each harvester could manage a third of an acre with a reaphook or sickle with a bagging hook or scythe that became an acre or more.

Increased production

Paradoxically, this did not necessarily solve the farmer’s labour problem. He was growing more cereals in the 1860s than 30-40 years earlier, so needed the extra output of the scythe and bagging hook. The higher cutting rate also increased pressure on workers following behind the cutters, for there was fine division of labour. Cutting the crop was done by a group of five or six men with the heavier scythe or bagging hook, although women often wielded the sickle too. The cutters left a trail of corn and groups of workers raked it up to be tied into sheaves, binding it with straw knots. Boys and lads brought out the food for the breaks – ‘elevenses’ and ‘fourses’ in Suffolk.

Sheaves were gathered into stooks, between six and 10 sheaves leaning against each other to allow drying air to flow though. Local custom accounted for the differences in number, so that styles of stook varied across the country. In Kent the ‘hooded stook’ was preferred, in which an additional sheaf was laid on the top as a cap to keep rain off. The ‘Irish mow’ in south-west England was a pile of 20 sheaves. Whatever the style, the rows of stooks gave a characteristic pattern to the harvested fields where they remained to dry for about three weeks.

It was back-breaking work, with all the leaning and stooping into the cutting, and bending to gather up the sheaves. In hot weather it was dry, sweaty and dusty in wet or changeable weather, trying to cut laid crops was difficult and more taxing. The language among the workers was, wrote Richard Jefferies, a contemporary writer, “not that of pastoral poetry”.
The day was long – 5am till dusk, but the compensation was the extra pay. Harvest was a special deal for regular and seasonal workers alike. A regular farm labourer earning 10-12 shillings a week (typical of large parts of central and southern England) could get up to £1 a week at harvest time, and there might also be a bonus payment at the end. In addition, his midday meal was usually provided, plus all the beer or cider needed to keep him going through a hot day. Casual and migrant workers were paid at similar rates in deals struck with the farmer. Some were at piece rates – cutting and tying wheat at 12 shillings an acre, for example.

It cost the farmer a lot. The £25 he had not spent on the reaping machine could easily be paid in additional harvest wages, but it was important for his business survival. For the labourer’s family, the harvest extra meant survival. Husband, wife and children could all be earning for these weeks, bringing in enough to pay for things beside food. Richard Jefferies noted that harvest wages allowed labourers “to pay rent, back debts, find shoe leather and so forth”.

After the stooks were dried, the crop was carted to the stackyard. Most of the migrant harvesters had gone by now, but the work of loading the wagons and building the stacks continued to draw on local labour beyond the regular men. It was all manual work still the first machines to lift hay and straw into a stack were introduced in 1863. It was hard work for the horses as well, hauling the heavily laden wagons.

The harvest celebration

After the harvest came the celebration – harvest home (called ‘horkey’ in some places). Harvest was one of the great village festivals – the celebration of the successful gathering in of the corn – and shared by all the village.

There were some ancient traditions behind the celebration, the form of which varied across the country. Often there was a grand procession for the last wagon-load of corn brought from the field the Illustrated London News, a leading weekly magazine, had a picture of one at Swallowfield near Reading in 1860. The band played, a banner was held aloft and the wagon was decorated with the plaited straw corn dollies.

A harvest tea or supper, shared by squire, farmer and labourer alike, was followed by dancing and merry-making. It was this final part of the day that caused consternation among the respectable classes – “unrestrained riot and excess” was how the celebration of 1867 was described in the Essex parish of Foxearth. As a result, the festival was “taken in hand by the clergyman”, and centred on a thanksgiving in the parish church.

During the 1870s, farmers changed their minds about the reaping machine. It was now reckoned to be able to cut the crop at half the cost of using manual labour, and only a driver, and perhaps a lad, was all that was needed to operate it.
There were still jobs in raking and stooking, carting and stacking, but the farmer was less dependent on casual and migrant labour. The harvest field became less crowded and bustling as the machines took over. The next generation of reaper-binder machines required yet fewer workers, and the process continued until we see today’s harvest: an emptier landscape with one man driving the combine supported by two or three others with tractors and corn trailers.

British harvest traditions

Corn dolls

Harvest celebrations pre-date Christianity, but it has always been seen as a very spiritual time to give thanks for the year’s crop. Symbolic corn dolls, made out of the last sheath of the harvest, were placed on banquet tables when parishes had their huge feasts. The doll was then kept until the spring to ensure the continuation of a good crop next year. This custom began with Saxon farmers, who believed the last sheath contained the spirit of the corn.

Of special importance were the last sheaves of corn left standing as it was often believed a Corn Spirit resided within them. A descendent of the Roman goddess of grain Ceres, it came to be known by a variety of names such as ‘The Maiden’, ‘The Neck’ and ‘The Mare’ and once scythed would be made into a symbolic corn doll. First though came the act of actually cutting these final sheaves.

Reapers were anxious not to anger the spirit so they would line up at a distance and throw their sickles until the corn was cut, a time-consuming act which guaranteed anonymity. In the Welsh Borders these straws would be tied into four bunches, to represent the legs of a horse, before the sickle-throwing commenced. In Devon and Cornwall there was much ceremony attached to ‘Crying The Neck’ with the final reaping held aloft by a farmer who was encircled by his workers. The corn dolls would often be kept above the hearth and, in order to guarantee the success of the next harvest, ploughed back into the land the following Plough Monday. In other regions they were thrown into a neighbouring farm that was yet to finish their own work, a boastful and enraging act.

They would sacrifice this corn along with a hare – normally one hiding in the crop – although later there was no sacrifice and model hares were made out of straw instead. This then led to the making of corn dolls, which were hung up in farmhouses, and which were supposed to represent the goddess of the grain.

Offering thanks for the fishing seasons

The word harvest normally makes us think of agriculture, but many harvest celebrations exist around the country that celebrate another type of reaping. There are about 24 festivals that give thanks for the fishing seasons. In October, in Billingsgate, London, there’s the Harvest of the Sea Thanksgiving, where fish and netting decorate the church. These festivals arose in many fishing towns and villages, where the locals depend largely on fishing for a living. A tradition in North Shields, during the Blessing of the Salmon Fishery, is to give the first salmon catch to the vicar.

Harvest celebrations

From the first harvest celebration, to the last – St Michael’s Mass, on the 29 th September, celebrates the end of the productive season. Also known as Michaelmas, it signifies a time when all the harvest should have been brought in. Its beginnings can be traced to the 5 th century when the cult of St Michael spread to Western Christianity. During the Middle Ages it was celebrated as a huge religious feast, and the harvest traditions grew from there. Fairs with market stalls and games, and churches decorated autumnal and gold, sprung up around this festive time. People also ate geese on this day, said to bring financial protection for the next year.

The History of Harvest Moon - The Game That Inspired Stardew Valley!

My name is Nickadimoose, I'm an amateur video-game historian who likes to make videos about the history (development) of video-games, as well as do big text write-ups. This is one of those moments, all about Harvest Moon, the game that inspired Stardew Valley. Harvest Moon was really the first of its kind and it paved the way for farming simulators to come--though the series had some pretty noted issues.

I know big dumps of text aren't for everyone, so here's a link to the video if youɽ rather watch instead of read: ( )

(Farm Story is the rough translation for Bokujo) Introduction:

As difficult as it might be to believe in this day and age there was a time when games about farming didn’t exist. If you wanted to plant vegetables, pet cows, or harvest crops, you had to go out to the country and do it yourself. Then on August 9th, 1996, a game called Bokujo Monogatari released in Japan and fixed all that. Although you might know it better by the name Harvest Moon.

Act I: Life of Yasuhiro Wada

Harvest Moon was created by developer Yasuhiro Wada and was inspired by his life growing up in the Japanese countryside. As a child, he always dreamed about leaving his home in Kyushu and moving to the hustle & bustle of a large city.

Harvest Moon was the original farming simulator - a game all about quiet country living, building relationships, and fixing a dilapidated farm that you inherit from your grandfather. If you think this sounds a lot like Stardew Valley, you’re right. This game was the Stardew Valley of 1996.

After graduating from a local university, he moved to Shibuya and found a job with game development studio, Pack-In-Video. As the months of his life in the big city went by, he began to think more and more about his old life and the stark differences between country and city living cities were loud, teeming with people, a complete reversal of what he was used to. The country was quiet, filled with close-knit communities that were intertwined. It was these feelings that instilled in him a deep appreciation for his old life and made him want to recreate that experience in a video game.

The more Wada worked on projects for Pack-In-Video the more his desire began to grow to explore the concept of a game that could capture the essence of his old rural life.

Inspired by games like Derby Stallion and SimCity, he could see the foundation for his vision, just not the final product. These games were proof that players out there desired more than just platformers, RPGs, and beat-em-ups. They wanted simulation games that could offer them a different kind of experience.

Act II: Development of the Bokujo

And after two years of working on localization projects, he successfully pitched his idea to the company’s higher ups, who greenlit the project with a small budget. Wada was put in charge of a team of 10 people, including Setsuko Miyakoshi (writer) and Tomomi Yamatate (programmer). Miyakoshi and Yamatate would become his closest allies on what would become Harvest Moon, helping turn Wada’s dream into a reality.

Development started pretty slowly, first exploring the concept by drafting three key points on paper he wanted to explore: farming, interaction, and cattle.

Farming is pretty obvious, he wanted the player to be able to plant and grow crops. To feel like they’re involved in the day-to-day operations of a farm they’ve built from the ground up. Gathering tools for use, planning ideal crop yields, and selling at market. Similar to SimCity, but without the depth. Most simulation games of this age dealt with raw numbers, positive cash flow, negative cash flow, visitors to your park, etc. Wada wanted to bring the human element by allowing the player to engage in personal relationships, grow with the town, and become a part of the small close-knit community.

Wada wanted everything to relate to the allure around successfully raising cattle. He believed that cattle represented the involvement of all of the core elements of Harvest Moon. Echoing the themes of care, planning, and attachment a farmer would get form really working on a farm.

Back in early alpha when the graphics engine was developed the farm wasn’t much. It consisted of just a small plot of land, populated by a few rocks, tree limbs, and had a farmer that had 30% of the moving animations completed. They wanted to test the basic clearing mechanic of managing your land, the core aspect of Harvest Moon’s gameplay, to see if it would be fun. Luckily It was! It was fun and satisfying to see the land, which starts off pretty overgrown, progress to being clean and maintained by the player.

But as they put more of the pieces together however, they were shocked to discover that the different elements weren’t cohesive. The prototype had turned from fun and satisfying, to tedious and boring.

In an effort to fix this, not unlike a failed recipe, they kept adding new things to the mix hoping to stumble over the one idea that could make the dish taste better. The more they added however, the more sour the game began to become. Gameplay slowed to a crawl from horrid frame rate drops from all the on screen assets and it made it almost impossible to play.

The months spent adding material to the game had to be scaled back, reverted to an earlier build. The art style had to be downgraded as well. It was a definite blow to the development team--after months of work, adding new things, and chasing new ideas, what they were left with was a version akin to the alpha prototype they built to test the clearing mechanic. The last place you want to be during development. There was hope that this would be the last of the setbacks, but the ultimate blow was waiting just ahead, like a tiger in the bushes The studio went bankrupt.

Act III: Dealing with the Bankruptcy and Moving to Success

It was estimated that Wada’s team had 80% of Bokujo’s assets complete, but no overall game to put them in yet. A company called Victor Entertainment stepped in and purchased the bankrupt studio, merging it with their game development division, Victor Interactive Software, but the financial stability of Wada’s project was still in jeopardy. They were already depressed from having to revert the game’s state, but the studio going bankrupt really pushed Wada into a spiral. He was ready to pull the plug and call it quits on his dream.

Wada and his two friends, Setsuko Miyakoshi and Tomomi Yamatate, convinced him to keep the project going and suggested he reach out to their new owners, Victor Entertainment for financial support.

He would once again have to pitch the validity of his farming simulator to higher ups. Bokujo’s fate was in the hands of people Wada didn’t even know.

They must have seen something worthwhile in what he was making though, because they greenlit the project. Then Victor Entertainment gave them a fraction of their old budget, barely enough money in the coffers to last a year.To say that three team studio experienced a massive crunch is an understatement. In order to get Bokujo back on track they had a lot of work to do.

Yamatate, the programmer, threw out the old code from the previous build and started from scratch. Miyakoshi worked on the script, character dialogue and helped with general planning. Wada stayed on the concept/planning side of things, organizing the game as they moved along at break-neck pace, day in and day out.

Then after 6 months of living, eating, and sleeping in the office, Wada’s dream was finally finished. The farming simulator, Bokujo, was ready to meet the world.

Sales were going to be difficult though, not only because it was unknown but also because of the timing of its release: August 1996. For reference, the N64 premiered in Japan two months earlier. With a new system already out in the market, expectations for Super Famicom titles were low--everyone had already moved on.

Initially the game started off selling just 20,000 units. But, as word of mouth about Bokujo’s unique gameplay, sales rose to a little over 100,000 in just a few short months.

As sales of Bokujo rose, Victor Interactive Software, began looking for ways to expand the games’ audience internationally. They came into contact with a company called Natsume and brokered a deal to localize Bokujo for the west. Natsume chose to call the localized version of Bokujo, Harvest Moon.

The newly minted Harvest Moon released to the SNES June 1997, but like its Japanese counterpart, it grew a dedicated following quickly.

It was always supposed to be a one and done type of game, just an attempt to see if Wada could capture the magic of country-living. But, the higher ups at Victor Interactive had a different strategy in mind. To them, not tapping into the surge of popularity and exploring just how far they could take the farming simulator was a massive waste. Launching a new intellectual property is the hardest part of development. The fans were there, the groundwork was there, as was the potential.

After the higher ups convinced Wada to continue making the series, he was given staff, budget, and the directive to work on three new games. Harvest Moon Gameboy, Harvest Moon Gameboy Color, and Harvest Moon 64. The development team fragmented into two groups: one working on the Gameboy versions and the other working on main-line titles.

While Harvest Moon 64 underwent development, excitement in the video-game industry was palpable and energetic thanks to the recent releases of the PS1 and the Saturn systems. Wada, being a pretty enthusiastic gamer himself, loved the idea of developing for these other systems. As a result, after the Gameboy team released Harvest Moon GB and Harvest Moon GBC, they were commissioned to port Harvest Moon 64 over to the playstation. This port of the N64 version would come to be known by the name Harvest Moon: Back to Nature.

Wada didn’t want it to be a direct port either. He wanted Back to Nature to be a new experience for playstation players. And in order to do that, he gave the Gameboy team free reign on creating new dialogue and injecting new elements into the game. When Wada sat down to review the work of the Gameboy team, a few months before Back to Nature was set to be released, he found everything about his characters had changed. Dialog, events, and even the personalities of the characters had changed. Instead of insisting on revision, Back to Nature was released as is, and two very different versions of Harvest Moon 64 emerged.

The release of Harvest Moon 64 and Back to Nature began a golden age for the franchise both games were a perfect follow-up to the original, not only expanding on its founding concepts, but improving them in a full 3D environment.

They would follow this release pattern for a while, never quite re-capturing the magic of the SNES, N64, PS1, or Saturn versions. They weren’t bad games, in fact, critics and fans kept praising the series for trying new things and continually innovating on the experience that made the older games so popular.

When the team at Victor Interactive Software, now Marvelous Inc, began work on Harvest Moon DS, development would be led by Yoshifumi Hashimoto, who would go on to create the Rune Factory games. It was here that Wada stepped back from game development and took on a more supervisory role. He was still involved in the development process, but he left the day-to-day operations to other members of his team. Although he loved his franchise and the work his team had done, he would continue to pull away from Bokujo, until one day he made up his mind to finally leave and pursue his own projects.

The last project Yasuhiro Wada would be involved with in the Bokujo series was Animal Parade in 2008. He worked with his old colleagues, one more time, on developing his last game of the franchise with a much younger development team. He would go on to say the whole experience was a bit bittersweet. Having to say goodbye to a franchise he loved was difficult, but seeing the enthusiasm of a young, fresh development team gave him hope for what was to come. They had a wealth of new ideas and a passion for the games that just wasn’t with him anymore. He would go on to found ToyBox Inc, his own game development company, and begin working on new projects.

Act IV: Loss of Wada / Split of the franchise

When 2014 rolled around, we found the series in a really awkward place Xseed Games, a subsidiary of Marvelous Inc., became the localization arm of Bokujo, so they didn’t need Natsume anymore to localize games in the west.

Instead of abandoning the name Harvest Moon, Natsume founded it’s own development studio called Tabot, Inc in 2012 and continued to release games under the Harvest Moon. The first of those was Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, which received a 47/100 on Metacritic, leaving many long-time fans of the series to wonder what the hell happened? It had land terraforming, graphics that looked like a mobile title and was such a departure from the quality of its predecessors that it was hard to believe it was a game from the same franchise. Of course, it wasn't, but the fans didn’t know that. Because Natsume never volunteered that information to the public.

Bokujo, the original harvest moon as we know it, lives on under the name Story of Seasons in the west.

Story of Seasons has continued its tradition of development excellence, winning the attention of fans who understandably wonder where this farming game suddenly came from. On the flip-side Natsume is continuing development on the Harvest Moon franchise, with the newest game, One World, set to release later this year.

Act V: Conclusion Closing Thoughts

The History of Harvest Moon is a chaotic one.

From small beginnings on paper to the loss of it’s creator Harvest Moon has experienced many ups and downs. Not only bringing a new experience in video gaming, but allowing us to experience the joys of care, planning, and attachment All the core elements of Wada’s original intended experience. And it gave us a vessel to fulfill all of our deepest fantasies, allowing us to live a life we wouldn’t normally be able to. Will we see a return to form for One World? Or will Natsume continue the trend of mediocre offerings?

Saddest moment in HM history.

Just remember: If Granny's not a-rockin', don't go a-talkin'.

So true. I remember avoiding her when I saw her slumped over in her chair. Like if I don’t talk to you, you will never die.

Her death broke my heart and for a moment I thought I was the killer.

I think Harvest Moon 64 is still my favorite from the saga.

After the remake of Friends of Mineral Town I've been hopeful that they'll eventually remake Harvest Moon 64. It's the first one I played, and I still think it's the best one. It just has a certain atmosphere about it that the other games are missing. I tried to go back and play it again recently, but I got frustrated by the load times and the constant back and forth between menu screens. those things were perfectly reasonable back during the N64 era, but these days it's just tedious and unnecessary and the game would benefit greatly from an upgrade just in the basic mechanics of the game.

Also, I would be a little bit pissed if they tried to call the wine "grape juice" or something like they did with the new FoMT remake. The plot with Karen and saving the vineyard would feel a little bit ridiculous if it was suddenly about grape juice.

What Is the Harvest Moon?

In 2020, the Harvest Moon rises on Thursday, October 1! The Moon will appear full for about three days around this time, from Wednesday morning through Saturday morning. Why does this phenomenon happen? Learn more—and shine on, Harvest Moon!

When Is the Harvest Moon?

This year, the brilliant Harvest Moon will appear in the evening of Thursday, October 1, reaching peak illumination at 5:05 P.M. EDT.

One thing that sets the Harvest Moon apart from other full Moon names is that it’s not associated with a specific month, as the others are. Instead, the Harvest Moon relates to the timing of the autumnal equinox (September 22, 2020), with the full Moon that occurs nearest to the equinox being the one to take on the name “Harvest Moon.” This means that the Harvest Moon can occur in either September or October, depending on how the lunar cycle lines up with the Gregorian calendar.

The Harvest Moon does typically occur in September, taking the place of the Full Corn Moon. However, it occasionally lands in October instead, replacing the Full Hunter’s Moon.

Why Is it Called the Harvest Moon?

For several evenings, the moonrise comes soon after sunset. This results in an abundance of bright moonlight early in the evening, which was a traditional aide to farmers and crews harvesting their summer-grown crops. Hence, it’s called the “Harvest” Moon!

There are just a little over 12 complete Moon cycles every year, on average (there being about 29.53 days in a synodic month). The Harvest Moon isn’t like the other Moons.

  • Usually, throughout the year, the Moon rises an average of about 50 minutes later each day.
  • But for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the Moon seems to rise at nearly the same time: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the northern USA , and only 10 to 20 minutes later farther north in Canada and Europe.

Additionally, the Full Harvest Moon rises at sunset and then will rise very near sunset for several nights in a row because the difference is at a yearly minimum. It may almost seem as if there are full Moons multiple nights in a row!

More Information About the Harvest Moon

If interested, here is more detailed information about the Harvest Moon. (Warning: Scientific explanation below!)

The Moon’s orbital motion (combined with the larger orbit of the Earth around the Sun) carries it farther eastward among the constellations of the zodiac from night to night. At any one moonrise, the Moon occupies a particular place on the celestial sphere (the great dome of the heavens), but when the Earth turns toward that point 24 hours later, the Moon has moved off to the east about 12 degrees, and it takes an average of 50 minutes longer for the Earth to rotate toward the Moon and for the Moon thus to “rise.” Think of it as a giant Slinky in which each loop, representing one lunar orbit of the Earth, advances the orbit a bit farther along the spiral path.

But around the date of the Harvest Moon, the Moon rises about the same time. Why? Remember that the zodiac is the band of constellations through which the Moon travels from night to night. The section of the zodiac band in which the full Moon travels around the start of autumn is the section that forms the most shallow angle with the eastern horizon. Because the Moon’s orbit on successive nights is more nearly parallel to the horizon at that time, its relationship to the eastern horizon does not change appreciably, and the Earth does not have to turn as far to bring up the Moon.

The Moon may rise as little as 23 minutes later on several nights before and after the full Harvest Moon (at about 42 degrees north latitude), which means extra light at peak harvest time near autumn. By the time the Moon has reached last quarter, however, the typical 50-minute delay has returned.

At the start of spring, the opposite applies. The full Moon is in the section of the zodiac that has the steepest angle with respect to the eastern horizon. For several days bracketing the full Moon nearest the vernal equinox, the delay in moonrise is as much as 75 minutes (at 42 degrees north latitude).

Here is another way of expressing what happens with the Harvest Moon: It is in this part of the zodiac that the Moon’s eastward (orbital) motion has its largest northward component. For observers in Earth’s Northern Hemisphere, the farther north an object is in the heavens, the longer an arc it makes across the sky, and the longer a time it is visible above the horizon. Thus, to say that the Moon is getting rapidly farther north each night around the time of the Harvest Moon is to say that, for northern latitudes on Earth, it will keep rising distinctly earlier than would otherwise be expected—nearly the same time as the night before.

How nearly the same is “almost the same time” each night? This varies with latitude, for the farther north you are, the shallower the angle of the zodiac is with respect to your horizon. In most of the United States and southern Canada, the Harvest Moon rises 25 to 30 minutes later each night. The effect is less noticeable the farther south you go. But going north makes the Harvest Moon more extreme.

According to astronomy author Guy Ottewell, the idea of the Harvest Moon originated in Europe (average latitude about 50 degrees north), where the Harvest Moon rises only ten to 20 minutes later each night. It must have seemed a boon that just when days were getting rapidly shorter and the Sun seemed to go down all too soon, the Harvest Moon arrived to extend the hours that harvesting could be done.

Chinese Harvest Moon Traditions

As a final note, I should add that it is not just Western civilization that has given special importance to the Harvest Moon. For Chinese people everywhere, this full Moon is the occasion for the Festival of the August Moon (the “August” is through a calendar discrepancy) or Mid-Autumn Festival (in some cultures, the equinoxes and solstices have been considered the middle of the seasons). This festival is celebrated with joyful games and the eating of “Mooncakes.”

I remember vividly being invited to one such celebration and singing songs and playing my guitar to a circle of friendly faces in the light of the rising Harvest Moon.

Learn More

Ever notice that the low-hanging Moon looks especially big near the horizon? It isn’t really significantly bigger. Learn more about this trick of the eye called the Moon Illusion.

Купить Harvest Moon: Light of Hope Complete Your Set НАБОР (?)

In celebration of Harvest Moon's 20th Anniversary comes an all new Harvest Moon title for Steam! Harvest Moon: Light of Hope Special Edition! The game encompasses twenty years of the spirit that have made the franchise what it is today!

Looking for a fresh start and some new surroundings, you set off on a voyage to begin your new life! Unfortunately, the weather has different plans, as your ship is hit by a monsoon, and goes down! You drift into a small harbor town, now in shambles from the storm, where a young doctor named Jeanne saves your life. The town has essentially been deserted, but you're never one to back down from a challenge! It will be up to you to help rebuild the town and save the lighthouse. but it won't be easy! Nevertheless, with some hard work growing crops, tending livestock, and gathering materials for repairs, you will be able to make new friends, start a family, revive the lighthouse, and save the town, your new home!

• Collect important materials to rebuild the town and restore the lighthouse!
• Complete requests from villagers to unlock new areas and items!
• Grow crops, tend livestock, and gather materials, either by yourself or with a Co-Op friend!
• Learn to grow and mutate crops with user friendly UI and tutorials!
• Make new friends, get married, and start a family from a variety of bachelors and bachelorettes, including a secret one!

NASA Missions and the Moon

In 2009, NASA launched a spacecraft named the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) to study Earth's Moon. NASA sent LRO into space to take high-resolution photos of our Moon. These photos will help NASA scientists map out the Moon's surface. Why is a map of the Moon's surface important?

  • Surface maps can show NASA possible sources of water ice in the Moon's craters
  • Maps can help identify potential landing sites for future human exploration of the Moon

An illustration of NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Watch the video: THE HISTORY OF HARVEST MOON! (January 2022).