Get Ready for This Weekend’s Exceptionally Large Strawberry Moon

Artist rendering of full moon on the horizon

Photo: alexnako/Depositphotos

Summer is here, and the Moon is about to put on a spectacular show to celebrate. Just one day after the summer solstice, June's full moon—known as the Strawberry Moon—will be at its fullest. It will also appear exceptionally large because, according to Farmer's Almanac, it is the lowest full moon in years.

This is because the Moon mirrors the Sun's position in the sky. Since the summer solstice is the moment when the Sun is at its highest point in the Northern Hemisphere, the Moon is, therefore, quite low. The Moon appears quite large when it is very low on the horizon. This effect is called a Moon Illusion.

As for the sweet nickname, June's full moon is called Strawberry Moon as it coincides with North America's strawberry harvest season. This name was used by Native American tribes, who named the moons as a way to keep track of the year and the activities that happened during the specific period. While different tribes had their own naming preferences, the names used by the Algonquin tribes are most familiar to us. This is because the Farmer's Almanac began publishing these names in the 1930s.

Other Native American names for June's full moon include Blooming Moon (Anishinaabe), Green Corn Moon (Cherokee), Birth Moon (Tlingit), and Egg Laying Moon (Cree).

Interestingly, an old European name for the June full moon is Mead or Honey Moon. Mead is a drink made by fermenting honey with water, with some also adding spices, fruit, grains, or hops. Though evidence is not clear cut, there is some belief that the word “honeymoon” may stem from the tradition of marrying in June.

Either way, be on the lookout for this sweet moon on Friday, June 21, which will be at its fullest at 9:08 p.m. EDT. Just be prepared that while it will be large, it won't be red. The nickname has nothing to do with the actual color of the moon.

h/t: [Live Science]

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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