TALES IN THE MOONLIGHT
Join us as at the interdisciplinary, multicultural Moon Festival celebration in London this July
Words: Emily Georgieva
Photograohy: Luis Flores
11 June 2019
The Moon Festival is a very special celebration, which requires careful planning and a great team to put together. This year marks the 50th anniversary since Apollo 11 landed on the surface of Earth’s natural satellite and mankind walked on the Moon. The festival brings people together to celebrate the way we connect to one another and the cosmos that we are all a part of.
The Moon Festival aims to reflect people’s connection to the moon. Visitors can find a little something for themselves regardless of what their interests are. The organisers have prepared a variety of different activities that take place throughout the day. They vary from pop science lectures to moonlit film projections, art exhibitions and live music performances. People from all over the country join Londoners to appreciate the beauty of the bright rock in the sky.
Traditions like this have existed for a long time. We investigated which nations celebrated the moon in the past and when the worshipping rituals really started. Although times may change, people’s connection to their surroundings still plays a vital role in cultural evolution.
The moon is tightly connected to the Earth and we all constantly experience its powers. Humanity has gone a long way since the beliefs of gods and goddesses representing planets. However, the mythology has left a lot for us to study and learn from. People’s connection to what is beyond the skies has made them worship the planets above us. Later it challenged scientists to learn about the ways our Solar System functions. Astrology is a science on its own. Now we can make sense of how cosmos used to influence people and what they couldn’t fully comprehend.
Decades have passed since commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin stepped on the surface of the moon for the first time. Yet, people’s connection to the moon seems to be timeless. Around 3000 years ago the alphabet was invented, and soon all other forms of written communication were no longer used. Since earliest recorded times, people of Babylonia, China, Egypt and India have expressed varied beliefs in the powers of the moon. Some worshipping traditions still exist in the regions of Africa and among some Native American groups.
People who lived all those years ago, believed that Earth wasn’t a planet. It was thought as the home for humanity, and this set it apart from the Kingdom of Heaven. They started giving meaning to what was surrounding Earth. People were convinced that everything must have been connected to their home planet, including the stars. In the culture of many, the moon mainly symbolises justice, health and wisdom. This is represented by the Egyptian god Thoth and the Mesopotamian god Sin. Moon gods existed in people’s memory since the oldest of times. This can be explained with the fact that the Moon could easily be seen with a naked eye. At the dawn of human civilisation, the existence of other planets was not even considered. An interesting fact is that all planets, which can be seen with the naked eye, are named after gods and goddesses. The moon gods were among many other god-like creatures, whom mortals started worshipping.
The Moon was believed to have special powers. Its light was rumoured to be able to cure. The early speculations about the planet were based on the beliefs of people in Egypt, China, etc. The common notion was that everything – people, plants, animals – was connected to the moon and its different phases.
Each month marks a different stage for the moon. For example, January is the time of the Wolf Moon. October of the Blood Moon. December of the Cold Moon. It is believed by some historians that since ancient times the moon has had an important role in many aspects of the live of different nations. Disc-like forms have been used to describe things, in the written language and even as signs in drawings. People were aware of their connection to the moon and seem to have always been influenced by it. In modern days the worshipping of gods through rituals is a rare practice. Yet, we remember myths and legends of times when humanity depended on those beliefs to grow and evolve.
The Moon Festival, which takes place in London in July, aims to bring people together. Regardless of where they are from, participants gather to honour the past of civilisations from the past and to worship the relationship between cross-cultures and the Moon. Make sure to book your tickets. Head to London this July for the most important lunar event of the year. Learn more about the moon and celebrate 50 years since humanity established a physical contact with another planet.
Follow the Moon Festival on social media and become part of the celebration. The festival takes place from 19 - 26 July so make sure to save the dates. Check out the events of the Moon Festival and book your tickets now.