It’s No Joke: Strawberry Moon

No, this is not a set-up for a joke. June 14 is a Strawberry Moon. It’s a real thing.

What is it? Well, I’m glad you asked. And if you didn’t ask, then this is slightly awkward because I’m going to tell you anyway.

According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, it’s the first full moon in June. It was named by Native American tribes (Algonquin among others) for the strawberries they harvested at this time of year. It signals the end of spring, and, while not necessarily red, it can be quite beautiful.

But, get this, it’s not the only name. There’s Blooming Moon (Anishinaabe), Green Corn Moon (Cherokee), Hoer Moon (Western Abenaki), Mead Moon (European), and Egg Laying Moon (Cree). All are the same thing. That’s one beautiful Egg Laying Moon!

And, that’s just June. Every month has a special name for the first full moon: January has a Wolf Moon, April a Pink Moon (not actually pink), August a Sturgeon Moon, November a Beaver Moon, and December a Cold Moon (tell me about it).

Then you’ve got your Blue Moons. Those are the second full moons in a month. And, of course, your Supermoons. Those are… well, um, no one can actually agree on what those are. They might be when the moon is super close to the Earth, but how close has never been defined. Micromoons are the opposite—far away.

And then there are phases. Oh boy, I don’t have time to explain a Waxing Gibbous to you. Heck, the Hawaiians have a gazillion of these: A Kūpau is 33% illuminated while a Olekūkahi is 42%.

My point, you ask? And if you didn’t ask, thank you, that’s very polite of you (but I’m going to tell you anyway).

It’s like anybody can just make up a name. I’ve been calling the June moon “The full Monkey Face.” There’s no right answer.

Stop and think what you might call the moon. And, know, you can’t go wrong.

When it comes to naming the moon… it’s just a gray area.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, and goodnight.