Ah, summer, where the days are long, the nights are longer …. and thousands of people gather together to chant up into the heavens. Well, at least they do on August 15—otherwise known as Chant at the Moon Day. The annual event was inspired by grower Stemilt’s premium moon cherries. These late season cherries are literally grown half a mile closer to the moon at elevations of 2500-3500 feet above sea level! Legend has it harvesting cherries just prior to a full moon make Stemilt’s moon cherries sweeter and more complex in flavor because the tree’s roots are benefitting from the extra gravitational pull from the moon. Stemilt decided all this sweetness needed a celebration—so grab your friends and let loose your best lunar cheer!
Chant at the Moon Day Activities
1. Host a Chant at the Moon gathering
Grab your friends for a late-night picnic under the stars. When you're all done feasting, you know what to do! Just make sure your crazy chanting doesn't disturb the neighbors.
2. Eat cherries under the moon
No Chant at the Moon Day would be complete without the fruit that inspired it. Gear up for a successful chanting adventure by eating sweet cherries as the moon comes out, and give thanks for all the wonderful fruit summer brings!
3. Learn some lunar history
Do you actually know how large the moon is? Celebrate this amazing celestial body by researching some fascinating facts about our solar system. You'll amaze yourself—and more importantly, impress your Chant at the Moon squad!
5 Incredible Facts About Cherries
1. Every 100 foot gain in elevation pushes cherry harvest back one day
This is why Stemilt’s moon cherries are harvested so late in the summer.
2. Moon cherries are harvested at sunrise
Due to their delicate nature, cherries are harvested in the early morning hours in order to maintain their luster.
3. 62% of sweet cherries produced in the U.S. are grown in Washington
California and Oregon combine with the Evergreen State to make up 94% of the nation’s sweet cherries.
4. One cup of cherries is less than 90 calories
That same cup of cherries has 3 grams of fiber, which aids in digestion, lowers cholesterol, controls blood sugar, and can help with weight loss.
5. Cherries get their red color from anthocyanins
They also help protect the heart and its surrounding tissue.
Why We Love Chant at the Moon Day
A. It reminds us to get outside
There's nothing better than those summer sunny evenings outside—but by the time August rolls around, we often take the season's temperate weather for granted and stay indoors all evening. Chant at the Moon Day is the perfect opportunity to get back outdoors and connect with nature.
B. It allows us to be silly
How often do we really get to let loose and unleash some primal nature chanting? This day allows us to blow off steam and release our inner goof. Grab your friends and see who can come up with the silliest chant! (And film it—you never know when you're going to need some light blackmail material.)
C. It encourages us to enjoy the last fruit of the season
Cherries, peaches, nectarines galore! August is one of the last months to enjoy summer fruit (clearly the best fruit of any season). Chant at the Moon Day reminds us to stock up on nature's candy before we have to wait a whole year to enjoy it again.