This Friday the 13th, people who live on the east coast of North America will be able to see a fairly rare event, the first so-called honey moon, or strawberry moon, that has occurred since 1919 on this day. Viewing will be at its best just past midnight on Friday. This sort of moon won’t happen again on a Friday the 13th until 2098.
The moon is often referred to as being a honey moon because it can look larger than usual and take on a golden yellowish color, a bit like the color of honey. On Friday the 13th, the moon will be at the beginning of its full phase, and it will be at its shortest distance of the year from the sun, at its perigee.
This rare June occurrence of a honey moon might have been what gave rise to the term “honeymoon.” Marriages often occur in the month of June, and the brightness of a honey moon might have been considered an omen of a bright and happy future ahead of couples who got married at this time of the year.
The reason that some people refer to the full moon that will be in the skies on Friday the 13th as a strawberry moon doesn’t have anything to do with the color of the moon, but rather has to do with the fact that it’s strawberry season. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, this was a well-known time of the year when Algonquin Native American tribes would gather wild strawberries to eat and enjoy.
Friday the 13th is a relatively rare date for any type of a full moon to happen, let alone a honey moon or strawberry moon. A full moon, period, hasn’t taken place on the night of Friday the 13th since back on October 13, 2000. Also, Friday the 13th will mark the last time that a full moon of any type occurs on Friday the 13th for 35 years, until October 13, 2049.
For those who don’t live on the east coast of North America but still would like to see the honey moon or strawberry moon, a YouTube link to the SLOOH Community Observatory is below. The event is being live streamed at this link from telescopes in both Chile and the Canary Islands.
Some people have a fear of the number 13. This is called triskaidekaphobia, and is a word that has likely caused many children to drop out of Spelling Bees over the years. Friday the 13th can cause a superstitious dread in the hearts of those people, as well as fans of the Friday the 13th movie franchise, which features various actors in the role of the hockey mask-wearing, machete wielding Jason Vorhees.
Friday the 13th this year might be a day that superstitious people dread, but it’s one which will delight people interested in observing lunar events like the honey moon or strawberry moon, which sometimes only happen once in a person’s lifetime. The live streaming video below will enable anyone who would like to see this rare occurrence have access to viewing it, not just those lucky enough to live on the east coast of North America.
Written by: Douglas Cobb
Watch the Honey Moon or Strawberry Moon at SLOOH