Is The Strawberry Moon Really Red?

by Kiersten Hickman

The first full moon of June, also known as the Strawberry Moon, is coming up on June 9, 2017. Yes, full moons do have a name, and this one sounds particularly scrumptious. So, what's the story behind the special name, and — most importantly, given it's name, is the Strawberry Moon red? I know I'm not the only person wondering this.

The answer: Kind of? No the moon is not a robust red, but can exude slight pinkish colors when it is close to the horizon. Although this particular moon may bring off some pinkish tones, the reason for the name “strawberry” actually has nothing to do with the color. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, Algonquin tribes of New England and Lake Superior would name moons based on the season — as well as blooming nature. The first full moon of June means the kickoff of strawberry season, hence the name Strawberry Moon.

Now if you didn’t know, this moon is also known as the Rose Moon, which would make a bit more sense based on the slight pinkish tone that the moon may have when closer to the horizon. The name “rose moon” actually comes from Europe.

Although some claim that the Strawberry Moon really doesn’t have a color apart from a pale pink hue, The Chicago Tribune still has some pretty cool color sightings of this particular full moon from around the world. You can take a peek through these photographs on their website.

Michael Dodge/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

In 2016, the Strawberry Moon also landed on the same day as the summer solstice — also known as the longest day of the year. The last time these two events coincided was in 1967! The result? That full moon had a more amber look compared to the usual Strawberry Moon. The Daily Telegraph reported that the reason for the coloring was due to the sun being still being high in the sky when the moon peeks out — leaving more light on the moon and creating an amber like color.

After the sighting of the Strawberry Moon (and eating a ton of strawberry shortcake while listening to "Strawberry Fields Forever" by The Beatles), be sure to be ready for the Buck Moon a month later on July 9!