Rare spooky-sweet event: Full ‘Honey Moon’ coincides with Friday the 13th


The strawberry or honey full moon over Fauquier County, June 3, 2012 (Stephen Little via Facebook)

At 12:11 a.m. Friday (ET), the moon becomes full.  Ironically, the sweetly-named ‘Honey Moon’ pairs with the supposed unlucky and sinister Friday the 13th.

Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory says June’s full moon got its name from its low, southern position in the sky which casts a golden hue.

“[T]he haze and humidity of the midsummer air tends to give a warmer tint to her otherwise silvery face,” Chester writes.

The moon is also commonly known as the ‘Strawberry Moon’ because “the Algonquin tribes knew it as a signal to gather ripening fruit” according to Almanac.com.  Europeans call it the ‘Rose Moon,’ Almanac.com says.

A full moon falling on Friday the 13th – in any month – is a rare event. It last occurred about 14 years ago on October 13, 2000.  The next full moon on a Friday the 13th? Not until August 13, 2049.

It’s an even longer wait for the next full moon on a Friday the 13th in June -  2098 to be exact, notes Universe Today (the last full moon on a Friday the 13th in June occurred way back in 1918).

Of course, as a big chunk of the East Coast will be draped in cloud cover tonight, the Friday the 13th full moon will not be visible.  And, in the central and western U.S., where clear skies will be more prevalent, the full moon technically falls on the 12th (11:11 p.m. CT, 10:11 p.m. MT, and 9:11 p.m. WT).

Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.
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