Originally written on June 2020, updated 2023
As we already know, in ancient times, it was common to track the changing seasons by following the lunar month rather than the solar year, which the 12 months in our modern calendar are based on.
For millennia, people across Europe, as well as Native American tribes, named the months after features they associated with seasons.
However, some years have 13 Full Moons, which makes one of them a so-called Blue Moon, as it doesn’t quite fit in with the traditional Full Moon naming system, even if this is not the only definition of a Blue Moon.
The wild strawberries that start to ripen during early summer gave name to the Full Moon in June, not by chance simply know as Strawberry Moon.
To those who roamed much of North America, strawberries were a sweet and nutritious food staple that was only available for a limited time.
Used especially by the Algonquin, Ojibwe, Dakota, and Lakota peoples among others, the name Strawberry Moon came about because ripe strawberries were ready to be gathered at this time.
Similarly, Berries Ripen Moon is a Haida term. Blooming Moon (Anishinaabe) is indicative of the flowering season, while the time for tending crops is indicated by Green Corn Moon (Cherokee) and Hoer Moon (Western Abenaki).
The Tlingit used the term Birth Moon, referring to the time when certain animals are born in their region. Moreover, Egg Laying Moon and Hatching Moon are Cree terms for this period.
According to some sources, a European name for this early summer moon was Rose Moon, as in Europe Strawberries were once unknown, and another was Hot Moon, for the beginning of the summer heat. Other sources quote Mead Moon as the Anglo-Saxon name because this was the time for mowing the meads, or the meadows.
Honey Moon is another popular European name.
June was traditionally the month of marriages, and is even named after the Roman goddess of marriage, Juno. Following marriage comes the “honeymoon,” which may be tied to this alternative Moon name.
According to popular folklore, a growing Moon and a flowing tide are lucky times to marry. Did you know?
In any case, there are several different kinds of wild strawberries: the native North American type is the Virginia strawberry (or Fragaria virginiana), also known as Mountain strawberry or Common strawberry. It grows naturally in the United States including Alaska and Canada, but It has also been exported.
One popular variety, that was imported to Great Britain in the early 1900s, is called Little Scarlet.
Apparently It was an accidental cross of Fragaria virginiana and the South American Fragaria chiloensis, also know as Sand or Beach strawberry, so with larger fruit, which resulted in the modern strawberry grown commercially and in gardens, the Fragaria ananassa.
Also Europe has its own native wild strawberry: the so-called Alpine strawberry (Fragaria vesca), also called European strawberry, Woodland strawberry, or fraisier des bois.
Around every 20 years, the Strawberry Moon coincides with the summer solstice, which is either on June 20, 21, or 22.
In Swedish culture June and strawberries are synonymous. It feels like a miracle that there is such delicious fruits growing from the earth after such a long winter and sometimes very cold springtime.
In the far north, land of the midnight sun, the sun and moon hang in the night sky at the same time. It’s a magical time of the year, leading up to the summer solstice, where enchantment lingers in the twilight, and they say if you eat a strawberry under the full moon in June then any wish you desire will come true.
In 2023, Strawberry Moon rises on the evening of Saturday, June 3, just after sunset. Look towards the southeast to watch the full Moon rise gently above the horizon, where it will appear large and golden-hued.
It will reach peak illumination at 11:43 P.M. Eastern Time.
Images from web – Google Research