For the past day or so I was hearing hype about the appearance of something called a “Strawberry Moon” because it will be the first full moon to fall on the Summer Solstice since 1967. Today is the Summer Solstice and I was reminded of this due to this new animated Google doodle that was hyping that fact.
Based on all the hype I’ve read, I was expecting a red moon or a yellow-red moon or something that was somewhere between red and light orange. I was just outside taking out the trash and recycling for tomorrow morning’s pickup and, sure enough, there is a full moon. But the moon I saw was its usual white/very light yellow color.
I did a brief online search until I found this explanation on Snopes.com:
The summer solstice, the official start of summer (according to the calendar, if not necessarily the weather), is the longest day of the year, and this year it is accompanied by a fairly rare event: it coincides with a so-called “strawberry moon,” the folkloric name given to June’s full moon.
What does tonight’s moon have to do with fruit? It’s not because the moon will look reddish, as many people think. Rather, according to “The Old Farmer’s Almanac,” the strawberry moon was given that name by the Algonquin tribes because it occurs right at the height of the season when strawberries are harvested. Other names for this month’s full moon are the “hot moon” and the “rose moon.”
Oh so it’s more about harvesting fruit than about the actual color of the moon. At least I feel a little less disappointed that I didn’t find a red moon. But now that I know the explanation, I’m less excited now. Yeah, I know it’s cool to have a full moon on the Summer Solstice, which hasn’t happened since 1967, and another such event won’t happen again until 2062 (when I’ll probably be dead by then) but it’s really not such a big deal since I’ve seen so many other full moons in my life that I’ve long since lost count.
I’m just basically underwhelmed at that phenomenon, that’s all.