So far in 2023, we've seen some pretty cool night skies. June has only just arrived, and already we're just days away from this month's full moon! This one is the sixth of thirteen full moons in 2023 — there are usually twelve per year, but every few years we're treated to an extra full moon, known as a 'Blue Moon' (yes, that's where the saying comes from). Each full moon has a different name, all of which have roots in Indigenous North American cultures, owing to the importance of the moon in their yearly timekeeping.
June's full moon is known as the Strawberry Moon, and it'll be gracing the sky at the start of the month. In this article we'll explore where its name comes from, if it'll actually be strawberry-coloured, and how you can get a glimpse yourself. As space fans and astronomy lovers, we're certainly excited to see it!
Why is it called a Strawberry Moon?
Unfortunately, if you're hoping to see a full moon the colour of a strawberry, you're going to be disappointed. The June moon's name, like most moons, actually comes from the Ojibwe tribe, an Anishinaabe people indigenous to North America. Rather than its colour, the moon gets its name from the time of year it is seen in the sky — June being strawberry-harvesting season.
Although the name 'Strawberry Moon' is the one that's stuck, this month's full moon has also been named the 'Blooming Moon' by other Indigenous peoples, and Europeans dubbed it the 'Rose Moon'. Each of the year's twelve (or thirteen) moons has a name, which are the same for each full moon every year.
How can I see the Strawberry Moon?
According to the Greenwich Royal Observatory, the Strawberry Moon will be at its fullest in the UK at 4:41 am on the 4th of June — so look out for it on Saturday night! While a full moon is technically only full for an instant, it'll appear full for much longer, and the Strawberry Moon will light up the sky all weekend.
While the moon isn't going to be pink, it will still be a breathtaking sight. The full moon holds significance in many cultures, from the Indigenous American Grandmother Moon to Hindu Purnima festivals to Wiccan full moon rituals, the night of the full moon is a special and an important night to many. Whether you have a cultural connection to the full moon or are just a self-proclaimed moon lover, this is the perfect weekend for some moongazing.
We'll certainly be keeping an eye out for the Strawberry Moon this weekend, and we hope you get to see it too!