East Tennessee Pagans celebrate Harvest Moon with food drive

Pagan Pride Day is happening at the Sevierville Civic Center Saturday, September 14, in celebration of the Pagan tradition. /Canva
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Pagan Pride of East Tennessee is hosting its own "Pride Day" Saturday, September 14 at the Sevierville Civic Center from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The event will include several food vendors from around the area, as well as various workshops, speakers and readers for attendees that go along with the Pagan tradition.

The event theme is "Manifest Peace." Byron Ballard is the event's special guest, who is speaking about Healing Magic in the afternoon.

The day falls in line with the Harvest Moon, which is the full moon closest to the September Equinox, the 21st of September.

The event has no cash admission, instead, the organization is asking for the donation of a non-perishable food item that will be donated to Second Harvest of East Tennessee.

"The moon itself plays a large part in paganism in general as it often represents the cycle of life, birth, and nature: emerging, building up, diminishing, and disappearing – only to emerge again," Organizers said. "It’s also connected with the tides and women’s bodies, as both go through a similar cycle. Many traditions also equate the moon with the Goddess, who watches over us all. The full moon is when we set aside time to honor those cycles and to connect with nature spiritually. This Friday is the Harvest moon, which is the one closest to the equinox, causing it to float between September and October. Our ancestors relied on this moon to help provide additional light so they could continue to harvest crops in preparation for winter. Without those harvests, they would not survive the long, cold nights. Many of our holidays revolve around this cycle of 13 moons and 8 harvests, creating a “wheel of the year” that is celebrated. Pagan Pride of East Tennessee doesn’t have a specific event for the moon this year, but we are celebrating the equinox this Saturday in Sevierville. Our Pagan Pride Day is a day of speakers and workshops, vendors, and a celebration of the harvest. This event doubles as a food drive, so visitors are asked to bring donations of non-perishable food or pet food items. In past years we have raised hundreds of pounds of food that is then donated to Second Harvest. Towards the end of the day, we hold a small ritual in the auditorium to bless the food and honor those that struggle in our region. As for the number 13, just like everyone else, some pagans and Wiccans see it as a lucky number, some see it as ominous, while others may give it no thought either way."

Pagan Pride's Facebook page Facebook page has more information on the day's event schedule.

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