Strawberry Moon
Chantel Brink
Chantel Brink
June 21, 2024 ·  3 min read

When and How to See Strawberry Moon This Week

A stunning Strawberry Moon is set to glow a golden hue when it fills the night sky on Friday. Marking the first full moon of the summer season. The celestial event, named for the strawberry season with berries ripe for the picking around this time in the United States, promises a visual spectacle for skywatchers.

Peak Viewing Time

The moon will be its brightest and fullest at 9:08 PM ET and continue to beam through the weekend. This full moon coincides with the summer solstice when the sun is at its highest point of the year. Consequently, the moon will also ‘appear bigger than ever.’

Astronomical Significance

This full moon coincides with the summer solstice when the sun is at its highest point of the year.
Image Credit: Pexels

Since the 2024 June full Moon happens on the solstice, the very day the sun is absolutely at its highest of the year, this month’s full moon on the 21st is the very lowest full moon, indeed, the lowest we’ve seen in years,” Bob Berman, the Farmers’ Almanac astronomy editor, explained. “Because the moon is so low, it will appear bigger than ever. This is called the ‘Moon Illusion.'”

Best Viewing Locations

Skygazers should look southeast to watch the full moon rise above the horizon, where it will appear large and golden-hued. While the main event is on Friday, the moon will appear nearly full on Thursday, according to NASA.

Historical and Cultural Significance

The gold hue of the moon is due to its low, shallow path across the sky. But the name “Strawberry Moon” originates from the Native American Algonquin tribes. These tribes, who lived in the northeastern region for about 8,000 years before English settlers arrived, used the June full moon to determine when strawberries were ripe for harvesting. Legend has it that if you eat a strawberry under the full moon in June, any wish you desire will come true.

Read More: ‘Hidden’ Structures Discovered on Far Side of the Moon

European Traditions

Ancient Europeans also referred to this moon as the Mead or Honey Moon.
Image Credit: Pexels

Ancient Europeans also referred to this moon as the Mead or Honey Moon. Mead, a drink created by fermenting honey mixed with water and sometimes fruits, spices, grains, or hops, is also known as Honey Wine in some countries. Historical writings suggest that late June was the time when honey was ready for harvesting, making this the ‘sweetest’ Moon.

Origin of the Honeymoon

The term ‘honeymoon’ traces back to at least the 1500s in Europe. “The tradition of calling the first month of marriage the ‘honeymoon’ may be tied to this full Moon because of the custom of marrying in June or because the ‘Honey Moon’ is the ‘sweetest’ Moon of the year.” Noted NASA’s Gordon Johnston. “There doesn’t appear to be enough evidence to support a 19th-century theory that the word entered English from the custom of gifting newlyweds mead for their first month of marriage.”

Significance in Different Cultures

Ornaments at market
Image Credit: Pexels

For Hindus, this full moon is known as Vat Purnima. A time when married women show their love by tying a ceremonial thread around a banyan tree. This celebration is based on the legend of Savitri and Satyavan. For Buddhists, particularly in Sri Lanka, this full moon is celebrated as Poson Poya, marking the introduction of Buddhism in 236 BCE.

This year’s Strawberry Moon promises to be a breathtaking sight, rich with historical and cultural significance. Whether viewed for its beauty or its storied past, it is a celestial event not to be missed

H/t: Mail Online

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