All Full Moons draw attention to themselves by the way they reign supreme over the night, so that each one has acquired at least one special name.
These names date back to the Native Americans in the eastern and northern parts of North America, who had various names for the Full Moon during each month of the year. European settlers quickly adopted the Moon names used by the Native American groups, though most people today are only aware of a few of those names. It is so-called because it was during the month of October, when the deers had fatted themselves over the course of the summer, that hunters tracked and killed prey by autumn moonlight, stockpiling food for the coming winter.
The Hunter's Moon Know Your Full Moon
So many of us have heard of the harvest moon, and many celebrate it around the world in various celebrations and parties. It is readily heralded as one of the most brilliant full moons of the year. But there is one that holds as much significance as this but is shrouded in myth.
The Hunter's Moon. Also called the Blood Moon, because of the orange-red glow it has due to the elevation of rise in the late autumn atmosphere. Harvest moon falls the first full moon closest to the fall equinox and hunters moon is the next full moon after, usually falling in October, and rarely in November. Most of the full moon’s names are from Native American Myths and lore. Hunters moon was named as it signified a time of easy hunting, even deep into the night to prepare for the long winter ahead.
Hunters Moon Name Origin
Like the Harvest Moon, the Hunters Moon is also particularly bright and long in the sky, giving hunters the opportunity to stalk prey at night. Probably because of the threat of winter looming close, the Hunters Moon is generally accorded with special honor, historically serving as an important feast day in both Western Europe and among many Native American tribes. Note that some years the Harvest Moon falls in October instead of September.
Hunters Moon Name Variations
The Hunters Moon of October is sometimes referred to as the Blood Moon or Sanguine Moon, as the Native Americans named this bright moon for obvious reasons. Other names for this full moon include the Travel Moon and the Dying Grass Moon.
Although typically the Moon rises 50 minutes later each day, things are different for the Hunter’s Moon (as well as the Harvest Moon). Both of these moons usually rise 30 minutes later on each successive night, which means that sunset and moonrise are not far apart.
This means there is prolonged periods of light during this time of the the year, which is the reason why these moons have traditionally been used by hunters and farmers to finish their work.
This difference between the timing of the sunset and moonrise is due to its orbit, meaning that the angle the Moon makes with the horizon is narrower during this time of year. The Hunter’s Moon is generally not bigger or brighter than any of the other full moons. Thus, the only difference between it and other full moons is the that the time between sunset and moonrise is shorter.
In India, the harvest festival of Sharad Purnima, which marks the end of the monsoon season, is celebrated on the full moon day of the lunar month of Ashvin (September-October). There is a traditional celebration of the moon during this time that is known as the “Kaumudi” celebration – which translated, means “moonlight”.
The harvest festival of Shrad Purnima is celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin.
Sometimes, the Harvest Moon is mistaken for the Hunter’s Moon because once every four years or so the Harvest Moon is in October instead of September. When that happens, the Hunter’s Moon is in November. Traditionally, each month’s full moon has been given a name, although these names differ according to the source.
Other full moons of interest include the Wolf Moon in January, the Strawberry Moon in June, the Sturgeon Moon in August, the Cold Moon in December, and the Pink Moon in April. All of the full moons have different characteristics due to the location of the ecliptic – i.e. the path of the Sun – at the time of each.
The Hunter’s Moon is also associated with feasting. In the Northern Hemisphere, some Native American tribes and some places in Western Europe held a feast day. This feast day, the Feast of the Hunter’s Moon, was not been held since the 1700’s. However, the Feast of the Hunters’ Moon is a yearly festival in Lafayette, Indiana, which has been held in late September or early October every year since 1968.
If you have a telescope or a binocular, why not invite some friends and neighbors over the evening for a closer look at the Hunter’s Moon? Moongazing offers a variety of interesting sights, from craters and domes to escarpments and mountain ranges.
Binoculars provide a fine view of the many lunar rays and spots that appear when the Moon is bright and full. Near the southern limb is Tycho, a 53 miles wide crater that is the hub of a system of bright streaks. Another series of white streamers radiate from Copernicus, and countless other craters with bright rims appear as brilliant white circles.
When is the next Hunters Moon?
The Hunters Moon dates are expressed in Coordinated Universal Time (UT), the international basis for other time zones. Since the lunar month is only 29 days long on the average, the full moon dates shift from year to year. For Hunters Moon times in your city, please use the Time Zone Converter. You may also simply subtract five (5) hours to get to U.S. Eastern Time.
Full Moon Year Date Time Day Hunters Moon
2016 Oct 16 04:23 Sun Hunters Moon
2017 Oct 5 18:40 Thu Hunters Moon
2018 Oct 24 16:45 Wed Hunters Moon
2019 Oct 13 21:08 Sun Hunters Moon
2020 Oct 1 21:05 Tue Hunters Moon