June 2024 Full Strawberry Moon

As the Sun is setting on June 21, 2024, the first full Moon of summer, the Strawberry Moon, will be rising. The rising strawberry Moon won’t be pink, but it will appear large and golden in color.  And because this full Moon follows on the heels of the summer solstice which occurred on June 20 at 4:51PM EDT, this Moon will be the lowest full Moon in the sky we’ve seen in several years.  This happens because summer solstice is when the Sun is at its highest in the sky, so the geometry required for a full Moon puts this one at its very lowest in the sky.

Wild strawberries, found throughout America and an important spring food for many Native American tribes, ripen and are ready for picking in June.  The importance of this fruit is why the Algonquin, Chippewa, Dakota, Lakota, Sioux, and Ojibwe named this Moon the Strawberry Moon.  There are other berry names for this Moon including the Creek Blackberry Moon, the Shawnee Raspberry Moon and the Haida Berries Ripen Moon.  Tribes sometimes had more than one name for a Moon. For instance, the Ojibwe not only call this Moon the Strawberry Moon, but also call it the Flowering Moon or Garden Moon.  Several tribes had Moon names that honored things growing and the need to care for young crops including the Cherokee Plants in Garden are Sprouting Moon and Green Corn Moon, the Anishinaabe Blooming Moon, and the Western Abenaki called it the Hoer Moon.  The Tlingit Moon of Birthing and the Cree Egg Laying Moon and Hatching Moon recognize the abundance of new animals being born.   Since ancient times Native Americans used the Moon to track the changing months and seasons.  All these names were based on what they observed happening in the natural world around them.

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