A harmony in autumn

The yearly Autumn Moon Festival celebrates the season with fitting grandeur. Chinatown, San Francisco, September 2003

The yearly Autumn Moon Festival celebrates the season with fitting grandeur.
Chinatown, San Francisco, September 2003

“There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!” Percy Bysshe Shelley

If I was absolutely forced to choose a favorite season, it would be autumn.  Even its name is more beautiful in my ears than the names of the other seasons.  It’s a whirl of exciting events: the beginning of a new school year for many of us, the coming of fun holidays that call up our creative and decorative talents as no other season does, the delicious cooling of the weather, drawing us back to the kitchen to bake our favorites and spend time with loved ones.

In San Francisco’s Chinatown, the Autumn Moon Festival begins today.  It is celebrated yearly with seemingly as much color and enthusiasm as the better-known Lunar New Year.  It seems a fitting way to begin the parade of festivities that will follow all over the USA, across many regions and cultures.  As the leaves turn to crimson, orange and gold, and the scent of fireside merriment is in the air, we feel an awakening of the spirit that renders us more than ready to bid farewell to summer’s joys.

What do you love best about autumn?  Do you decorate, bake, or do anything traditional each year to mark the beginning of this lovely season?  I hope you will be able to get outside this week, while the temperatures are still warm but the unmistakable touch of fall is there to energize and refresh you.

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Good morning, Julia!
    I’m amazed by how much this one post had given me to think about. Maybe pondering one’s life is a part of autumn reflection.
    At any rate, I’ve added the Moon Festival to my calendar for Friday evening. That sounds so interesting!

    • I really loved it, no doubt in part because of the season it celebrates. Given a choice between attending either Lunar New Year or Autumn Moon in San Francisco, I think I’d choose the latter…assuming it hasn’t changed much in the 16 or 17 years since I was there.

      • I got my flu vaccine and shingles vaccine on Thursday, and by Friday night (last night) when my alarm alerted me to look for the moon festival online, I felt far too lousy to get out of bed and watch it. But I think we’re near a new moon – I thought it would be at a full moon, like a “Harvest Moon”?
        Anyway, I feel much better this morning!!

        • That shingles vaccine is really yukky, isn’t it? I didn’t notice much on the first one, but the second one was HORRIBLE. But not as bad as shingles would be!

  2. Lydia

    Hi Julia. I grew up in the Mexican desert where there was only hot or cold weather. So, when I came to the States I was amazed at the beauty of the seasons. I took tons of pictures during the Autumn season, I think people got tired of me saying, “look at the color of the leaves!!!” I love every season with the different changes. God surely had fun creating our beautiful world.

    • Lydia, I agree! The variety and diversity of creation gets more amazing the closer we look. I for one would never get tired of hearing you say “look at the color of the leaves!” because I do that all the time. May we both live many years with what the Zen masters call “Beginner’s Mind” where we never stop seeing all that is new, wonderful and ultimately reassuring in this world. Thanks for being here!

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