hunter's full moon

A full moon rises over Saint-Emilion, southwestern France, on 23 October 2018. Photo: AFP/NICOLAS TUCAT

Hunter’s Moon 2019: Here’s what you need to know

October’s full Harvest Moon will be visible from Sunday 13 October to Tuesday 15 October.

hunter's full moon

A full moon rises over Saint-Emilion, southwestern France, on 23 October 2018. Photo: AFP/NICOLAS TUCAT

Moon lovers, cast your eyes heavenwards tonight. The Full Hunter’s Moon – which always follows September’s Harvest Moon – will shine bright and light up the night sky tonight.

Don’t worry if you miss it on the evening of 13 October. NASA assures us that the moon will appear full for three days, until Tuesday morning on 15 October.

Why is it called Harvest moon?

The names of full moons are derived from the 1930s Maine Farmers Almanac, which uses Native American names each for month’s full moon. The name was derived from both colonists and Algonquin-speaking tribes.

The Hunter’s Moon – which is the closest full moon to the fall equinox – was the best time for hunting deer and other animals, according to the Farmer’s Almanac.

The significance of the Full Harvest Moon

In northern locations, deer would have fattened up after harvesters cleared the fields, making it easier to see the animals under the bright light of the full moon.

Because the fields were traditionally reaped in late September or early October, hunters could easily see fox and other animals that come out to glean from the fallen grains. Probably because of the threat of winter looming close, the Hunter’s Moon is generally accorded with special honor, historically serving as an important feast day in both Western Europe and among many Native American tribes.

Farmer’s Almanac

According to NASA, the Hunter’s Moon is also referred to as Travel Moon, Dying Grass Moon, Sanguine Moon, and Blood Moon. It coincides with Sharad Purina, Pavarana with the Boun Suang Huea festival, and the Thadingyut Festival.

When is the Full Harvest Moon?

This month, the moment when the Harvest Moon is exactly 180 degrees opposite the Sun in ecliptic longitude falls on 13 October 2019, at 17:17 Eastern Time, 23:17 South African Standard Time.

When is the next full moon?

You’ll only have to wait another month. The next full moon will appear on 12 November. It is known as Beaver Moon, and is named after beavers who build their winter dams at this time of year.

It is also called Frost Moon and Mourning Moon.

Beavers make dams of wood and mud. In the middle, they build dome-shaped homes called lodges with underwater entrances. Beavers continue to grow throughout their lives, and so do their teeth. They constantly gnaw on wood, but because the enamel in a beaver’s incisors contains iron, their front teeth never wear down.


If you love Jupiter as much as I do, then you might want to take note of NASA’s alert:

On the evening of the full Moon on 13 October 2019, as evening twilight ends, the brightest planet in the sky will be Jupiter, appearing in the southwest at about 19 degrees above the horizon. The bright planet Saturn will appear in the south-southwest at about 28 degrees above the horizon. The Summer Triangle will appear directly overhead with the bright star Vega to the west-northwest at 76 degrees above the horizon, Deneb to the northeast at 79 degrees above the horizon, and Altair to the south at 60 degrees above the horizon. The bright planet Venus and the planet Mercury will have already set in the west-southwest.

Solar System, NASA