A Hunter’s Moon is a full moon that appears once every fall and looks bigger and more orange than the average. This year, the Hunter’s Moon will reach peak fullness on Sunday, October 13 at 5:08 p.m. EDT, according to the Farmer’s Almanac. But it will of course become brighter as the sky darkens after sunset. (Sunset in New York City on that date, for example, isn’t until 6:19 p.m., after peak fullness.)
The Hunter’s Moon is one of only two moons that do not have nicknames related to the month during which they appear — that is because the Hunter’s Moon may rise in either October or November. The month it occurs in depends on the rising of the Harvest Moon, which is the closest full moon to the autumnal equinox. This year, the Harvest Moon happened on Friday the 13th! The Hunter’s Moon is the next full moon to appear after the Harvest Moon.
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the Hunter’s Moon likely got its name from early American folklore — its rising signaling that it was time to go hunting to prepare for a long winter ahead.
“Since the harvesters had recently reaped the fields under the Harvest Moon, hunters could easily see the fattened deer and other animals that had come out to glean (and the foxes and wolves that had come out to prey on them),” the Almanac details.
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If you happen to miss the Hunter’s Moon, the next full moon of the year, the Beaver Moon, will rise on November 12.