Even if you’re not a lunar witch, the full moon has a powerful effect on spiritual rituals. It reminds us of nature’s repeating cycle; of birth, death, and rebirth; of symbolism and personal growth. This article provides the 2023 full moon calendar along with each full moon’s name(s), spiritual meanings, and the date/time of maximum illumination.
We’ll have thirteen full moons in 2023, which means there will be one blue moon.
What does that mean?
We see a full moon every 29.53 days on average. As a general rule, each calendar month has one full moon. In the rare cases when a second full moon occurs in the same month, that moon is called a blue moon. September, for example, has a blue moon once every three years.
Below, you’ll find the 2023 full moon calendar.
- How Did Each Full Moon Get Its Name?
- 2023 Full Moon Calendar
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How Did Each Full Moon Get Its Name?
People haven’t always used the 365-day calendar to keep track of time. Christening the full moons dates back to the Native American tribes and early European settlers.
Since the full moons regularly arrive every month, tribes named each moon based on the flora, fauna, and activities of the season. The Strawberry Moon, for example, appears around the strawberry harvest in June.
Full moon names came from:
- Bloom and harvest times
- Animal activities, such as breeding and migrating
- Typical weather patterns of the season
- Tribal activities, such as hunting, planting crops, fishing, etc.
2023 Full Moon Calendar
January: Wolf Moon
The Wolf Moon will reach its peak on Friday, January 6, 2023 at 6:08 p.m. EST
The full Wolf Moon in January was named for the time of year when the howls of wolves carry across the landscape through the cold midwinter air. Although it used to be believed that wolves howled due to hunger, howling is a way for the pack to communicate across long distances and can be a way of conveying information such as a wolf’s location, the position of prey, and warnings about other predators.
Alternative names for the Wolf Moon:
Spirit Moon • Old Moon
February: Snow Moon
The Snow Moon will reach its peak on Sunday, February 5, 2023 at 1:29 p.m. EST
The full Snow Moon in February was named for the time of year when winter storms often bring heavy snowfall in the north. Blizzards and harsh weather conditions made hunting difficult for tribes that lived in the cold climate.
Alternative names for the Snow Moon:
Hunger Moon • Bone Moon • Bear Moon
March: Worm Moon
The Worm Moon will reach its peak on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at 7:40 a.m. EST
The full Worm Moon in March was named for the time of year when life begins to stir in the thawing soil. The robins have returned, and birds gorge themselves on abundant earthworms. Other types of worms and grubs are emerging from tree bark and other winter hideaways.
Some northern tribes dubbed this the Crow Moon when the cawing crows announced the end of winter’s cold grasp. Settlers also called it the Sap Moon as they tapped maple trees to collect sap to sweeten their food and drink, make maple syrup, etc.
Alternative names for the Worm Moon:
Crow Moon • Sugar Moon • Eagle Moon • Sap Moon • Lenten Moon
April: Pink Moon
The Pink Moon will reach its peak on Thursday, April 6, 2023 at 12:34 a.m. ET
The full Pink Moon in April was named for the time of year when spring flowers, especially while ground phlox, blanket the earth in bold swathes of color. Phlox is one of the earliest wildflowers to bloom, and its vibrant pink petals gave April’s full moon its name.
This year, the Pink Moon will be the first full moon of spring after the equinox.
Alternative names for the Pink Moon:
Egg Moon • Grass Moon • Budding Moon • Fish Moon
May: Flower Moon
The Flower Moon will reach its peak on Friday, May 5, 2023 at 1:34 p.m. ET
The full Flower Moon in May was named for the time of year when spring blooms erupt in a fragrant, colorful landscape. This includes spring bulbs such as crocus, daffodil, narcissus, tulip, lily of the valley, hyacinth, and bluebells; flowering trees such as dogwood, redbud, magnolia, crabapple, crape myrtle, and pear; and early-blooming perennials such as peony, hellebore, violet, iris, bloodroot, bleeding heart, and primrose.
This year, the Flower Moon will experience a penumbral eclipse.
Alternative names for the Flower Moon:
Milk Moon • Mother’s Moon • Frog Moon • Corn Planting Moon
June: Strawberry Moon
The Strawberry Moon in June will reach its peak on Saturday, June 3, 2023 at 11:42 p.m. ET
The full Strawberry Moon was named for the time of year when the strawberries are ripening. Because the strawberry harvest season is short, the Strawberry Moon was a universal christening among all of the Algonquin tribes. Europeans often called this full moon the Rose Moon instead.
Alternative names for the Strawberry Moon:
Rose Moon • Hoeing Moon • Mead Moon • Honey Moon
July: Buck Moon
The Buck Moon will reach its peak on Monday, July 3, 2023 at 7:39 a.m. ET
The full Buck Moon in July was named for the time of year when a buck’s antlers are developing. During this season, the antlers are coated in velvety fur, and they’re just starting to push out of the forehead. Another common name for this moon is the Thunder Moon in reference to the seasonally heavy thunderstorms. This year, the Buck Moon will be the first full moon of the summer season after the solstice.
Alternative names for the Buck Moon:
Stag Moon • Thunder Moon • Raspberry Moon • Salmon Moon • Hay Moon
August: Sturgeon Moon
The Sturgeon Moon in August will reach its peak on Tuesday, August 1, 2023 at 2:31 p.m. ET
The full Sturgeon Moon was named for the time of year when fishing tribes produced high yields of surgeons from the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain. 2023’s Sturgeon Moon will be the first of two supermoons this year.
Alternative names for the Sturgeon Moon:
Red Moon • Green Corn Moon • Grain Moon
August: Blue Moon
The Blue Moon will reach its peak on Wednesday, August 30, 2023 at 9:35 p.m. ET
2023 has one Blue Moon that will appear at the end of August. It will be the second of two supermoons this year. (Note: the blue moon isn’t actually blue in color. Since it’s a supermoon, it will appear to be slightly larger than usual, but the color won’t change.)
September: Harvest Moon
The Harvest Moon will reach its peak on Friday, September 29, 2023 at 5:57 a.m. ET
The full Harvest Moon in September was named for the time of year when the crops are ready for harvest. September’s full moon usually arrives on or near the autumnal equinox when Mabon is celebrated in the Wheel of the Year.
This year, the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere will be on September 23, 2023, making the Harvest Moon the first full moon of autumn. There will be a penumbral lunar eclipse during the peak of the 2023 Harvest Moon.
The light of the full Harvest Moon allowed farmers and gatherers to work late into the night. Harvest time in the Northeast and Great Lakes yielded acorns, beans, birch bark, blackberries, blueberries, cattails, corn, cotton, cranberries, fish, grapes, honey, meats, milkweed, mint, pawpaws, peas, pecans, peppers, persimmons, potatoes, pumpkins, sassafras, squash, sunflowers, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, walnuts, wild rice, et cetera.
Alternative names for the Harvest Moon:
Barley Moon • Yellow Moon • Leaf Moon
October: Hunter’s Moon
The Hunter’s Moon will reach its peak on Saturday, October 28, 2023 at 4:24 p.m. ET
The full Hunter’s Moon in October was named for the time of year when the game is matured and fattened for winter. Now that the fields have been cleared, hunters can easily spot foxes and other animals on the open landscape. Hunting tribes prepare their stores of provisions for the long, cold months ahead. This moon is historically celebrated with a community feast.
Alternative names for the Hunter’s Moon:
Blood Moon • Sanguine Moon • Migrating Moon • Falling Leaves Moon
November: Beaver Moon
The Beaver Moon will reach its peak on Monday, November 27, 2023 at 4:16 a.m. EST
The November full Beaver Moon in November was named for the time of year when settlers put out beaver traps before the swamps and ponds freeze. As winter loomed closer, the beavers were finishing their preparations and would soon retreat into their lodges.
(A beaver’s lodge is not the same as a dam, which is built to block flowing water and form ponds to create an ideal environment. A lodge is a small, dome-shaped “house” made from woven sticks, grasses, and mosses, and held together with mud.)
Alternative names for the Beaver Moon:
December: Cold Moon
The Cold Moon will reach its peak on Tuesday, December 26, 2023 at 7:33 p.m. ET
The full Cold Moon in December was named for the time of year when winter settles in, the days are short, and the nights are long. By December, most of the wildlife has hunkered down. The leaves have all fallen and the flora is dormant. The world is in a state of rest.
Some years, the Cold Moon arrives near the winter solstice when Yule is celebrated in the Wheel of the Year. This year, the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere will be on December 21, 2023. The Cold Moon will be the first full moon of winter this year.
Alternative names for the Cold Moon:
Long Night’s Moon
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Award-winning fantasy author, freelance writer, spiritual explorer, and sole founder of Green Witch Lunar Witch. She created her first website in 2016 and published her first novel two years later. Sara spends most of her time writing, creating, and daydreaming.