Harvest Moon (September) History, Origin, Name, Dates and Calendar

Harvest Moon Name Origin

What is a Harvest Moon? The full moon that appears in September is called the Harvest Moon. The most familiar named moon, September’s Harvest Moon refers to the time of year after the autumn equinox when crops were gathered by Native Americans. Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice are the chief Native American staples that were ready for gathering. It also refers to the Harvest Moon’s particularly bright appearance and early rise, which lets farmers continue harvesting into the night. Usually the full Moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the Moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the U.S., and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and Europe.


Harvest Moon and Autumn Equinox

The Harvest Moon does not always occur in September. Traditionally, the name goes to the full moon closest to the autumn equinox, which falls during October once or twice a decade.

Harvest Moon Name Variations

The Harvest Moon of September is sometimes referred to as the the Corn Moon or the Barley Moon.

When is the next Harvest Moon?

The Harvest Moon dates are expressed in Coordinated Universal Time (UT), the international basis for other time zones. Since the lunar month is only 29 days long on the average, the full moon dates shift from year to year. For Harvest Moon times in your city, please use the Time Zone Converter. You may also simply subtract five (5) hours to get to U.S. Eastern Time.

Full Moon Year Date Time Day
Harvest Moon 2011 Sep 12 09:27 Mon
Harvest Moon 2012 Sep 30 03:19 Sun
Harvest Moon 2013 Sep 19 11:13 Thu
Harvest Moon 2014 Sep 9 01:38 Tue
Harvest Moon 2015 Sep 28 02:50 Mon
Harvest Moon 2016 Sep 16 19:05 Fri
Harvest Moon 2017 Sep 6 07:03 Wed
Harvest Moon 2018 Sep 25 02:53 Tue
Harvest Moon 2019 Sep 14 04:33 Sat
Harvest Moon 2020 Sep 2 05:22 Mon

Popular Full Moon Names

The naming of the Wolf Moon has a pretty interesting history. Do you want to learn about other Full Moon names? If so, check out the following full moon names: Wolf Moon, Snow Moon, Worm Moon, Pink Moon, Flower Moon, Strawberry Moon, Buck Moon, Sturgeon Moon, Harvest Moon, Hunters Moon, Beaver Moon, Cold Moon, and, of course, the Blue Moon!

Full Moon Names History 

Harvest Moon (September)


Full Moon names have been used by many cultures to describe the full moon throughout the year. Specifically, Native American tribes used moon phases and cycles to keep track of the seasons by giving a distinctive name to each recurring full moon, including the Flower Moon. The unique full moon names were used to identify the entire month during which each occurred.

Although many Native American tribes gave distinct names to the full moon, the most well known full moon names come from the Algonquin tribes who lived in the area of New England and westward to Lake Superior. The Algonquin tribes had perhaps the greatest effect on the early European settlers in America, and the settlers adopted the Native American habit of naming the full moons.


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