September Full Moon: Harvest Moon 2023

~4 min

The Full Moon occurring this September will be the Harvest Moon. However, the October Full Moon can also be referred to as the Harvest Moon sometimes. Did Native Americans run out of names for the Full Moons by the end of the year? Read on to figure it out.


When is the Full Moon in September 2023?

This month, the Full Moon will occur on September 29 at 09:57 GMT (05:57 a.m. EDT). At this time, our natural satellite will lie in the constellation Pisces. If the Moon is below the horizon at this time in your region, you’ll still have a chance to see it. To the naked eye, the Moon will appear completely round and bright the day before and after the event.

Moon phases in September 2023

  • Last Quarter: September 6, 22:21 GMT (06:21 p.m. EDT).
  • New Moon: September 15, 01:39 GMT (September 14, 09:39 p.m. EDT).
  • First Quarter: September 22, 19:31 GMT (03:31 p.m. EDT).
  • Full Moon: September 29, 09:57 GMT (05:57 a.m. EDT).

Moon calendar in Sky Tonight

With the Sky Tonight astronomy app, you can find out the Moon's phase, brightness, appearance, and location for each day. Within this app, an astronomy calendar features a separate “Moon” tab: just open it, and you’ll get all the important and up-to-date information about our natural satellite.

Moon calendar in Sky Tonight
You can find all the details about the Moon in the “Moon” tab of the calendar function in Sky Tonight.

What is a Harvest Moon?

The Harvest Moon is the Full Moon closest to the autumnal equinox, which occurs in September in the Northern Hemisphere and in March in the Southern Hemisphere. This year, the Full Moon on September 29 is the Harvest Moon.

Why is the Harvest Full Moon 2023 special?

Full Harvest Moon and autumn equinox: Harvest Moon name meaning

The Harvest Moon is not associated with a particular month, unlike the other Full Moon names. Instead, it is connected to the autumnal equinox: the Full Moon that is nearest to it takes on the name. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Harvest Moon usually occurs in September, but around every three-five years, it is in October. In the Southern Hemisphere, the Harvest Moon takes place either in March or April.

This year, the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere is on September 23 – that’s why the Full Moon occurring on September 29 is the Harvest Moon. In the Southern Hemisphere, the autumnal equinox has already passed on March 20, 2023.

Harvest Moon color: orange Moon

As the Moon hangs low on the horizon, it takes on a golden, orange, or red hue. The reason is that the blue wavelengths get scattered by the atmosphere, leaving more of the red wavelengths, so the Moon gets a warm glow. Pass our quiz and learn more about the possible colors of the Moon!

Colors of the Moon
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The September Full Moon and the Mid-Autumn Festival

The September Full Moon is celebrated by many nations. For the Chinese people, the September Full Moon marks the mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Mooncake Festival or Lantern Festival. It is the second most important festival after the Lunar New Year. On this day, people traditionally get together with their family and friends, eat mooncakes, light up paper lanterns, and gaze at the Moon. Similar September Full Moon traditions are found in many cultures around the world, including Japan, Korea, Vietnam, India, and Sri Lanka.

September Supermoon

The September Full Moon 2023 is listed in the table of Supermoons by former NASA astrophysicist Fred Espenak. This means that this Full Moon will occur near perigee and will appear slightly larger and brighter in the sky than regular Full Moons. However, the Moon isn't included in the list of Supermoons by Richard Nolle, the astrologer who coined the term "Supermoon". We try to explain this inconsistency in our article on Supermoons.

“Corn Moon” and other September Full Moon names

As we mentioned before, the Harvest Moon is the name used to denote both September and October Full Moons, depending on the date of the autumnal equinox. When the Harvest Moon occurs in October, the September Full Moon is called the Corn Moon. The other traditional name used by the Native American tribes is the Rutting Moon: during this period, the mating season begins for deer.

The other alternative names for the September Full Moon include:

  • Chinese: Chrysanthemum Moon
  • Celtic: Singing Moon
  • Wiccan: Barley Moon
  • Cherokee: Nut Moon
  • Southern Hemisphere: Worm Moon, Lenten Moon, Crow Moon, Sugar Moon, Chaste Moon, Sap Moon

Curious about the names of other Full Moons? Check out our colorful infographic!

Full Moons 2023
When is the next Full Moon in 2023? When is the Super Blue Moon this year? Check our Full Moon calendar for all dates, times, names, Supermoons, and more for the year.
See Infographic

When is the next Full Moon?

When is the next Full Moon in 2023?

The October Full Moon, or the Hunter’s Moon, will be on October 28, 2023. Use our Full Moon calendar so as not to miss the best time to observe the Moon.

When is the next Harvest Moon?

In the Northern Hemisphere, the next Harvest Moon will occur on September 18, 2024. In the Southern Hemisphere, the Harvest Full Moon will be on March 25, 2024.

September Full Moon 2023: Conclusion

The September Full Moon in 2023 is called the Harvest Moon. It occurs around the autumn equinox and is famous for rising right after sunset for several days in a row. The Full Moon will be on September 29 at 09:57 GMT (05:57 a.m. EDT), but don’t worry if you miss the exact day and time: the Moon will appear full for several days around the date. In some sources, the September Full Moon also counts as a Supermoon, which means it looks a little brighter and bigger in the sky.

We wish you clear skies and happy observations!