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News of Otsego County

native american tradition

EDITORIAL: A-maize-ing Grace

Editorial

A-maize-ing Grace

Last weekend, along with everyone who happened to venture out-of-doors the evenings of Friday and Saturday, we witnessed the September full moon — one of the most spectacular events on the lunar calendar. Called the Harvest Moon, as it appears the closest to the autumnal equinox, which falls on September 22, it is the moon that, before electricity, provided farmers with three days of extended daylight hours by which to harvest their crops. According to Native American tradition, it’s a time for giving thanks and acknowledging one’s accomplishments.

In some years, if that appearance is closer to the autumnal equinox, the Harvest Moon occurs in October, in which case the September full moon is called the Corn Moon. Corn, as it is known in North America, or maize, as it is known in other parts of the world, is a cereal grain first grown by indigenous peoples in southern Mexico, around 10,000 years ago.

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