Get ready for corn mazes and pumpkin picking because fall is nearly here! One way to celebrate fall is to observe the harvest moon near the autumn equinox’s start. The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts the full harvest moon will start on the evening of September 9, with peak illumination on September 10. So when does that mean Billings can expect to see the full moon? 

The Magic City should see the first full moon on September 10 at close to four in the morning, at about 3:58 a.m. What makes the harvest full moon unique from other full moons is that it rises at nearly the same time, for several evenings in a row. The full moon that happens closest to the autumn equinox is known as the Harvest moon.  

The harvest moon rises soon after the sun sets, resulting in bright moonlight in the early evening. It is also a traditional aid for farmers, harvesters, and their summer-grown crops. What makes the Harvest Moon unlike others is that the moon rise takes less time, approximately 25 to 30 minutes later across the northern United States. 

While September is typically when the harvest moon occurs, it can occur in October if it falls closer to the autumn equinox. If this happens, September’s full moon is referred to as the Corn Moon. The Corn moon refers to the transition from summer into fall and the time when corn is harvested. Many Native American peoples traditionally used variations of the Corn Moon. Other names for the September moon are the “Autumn Moon” in Cree and the “Yellow Leaf Moon” in Assiniboine.

Billings should see the next full moon in the afternoon at around 2:54 p.m. on October 9. Click here to learn about the Harvest Moon and its traditions celebrated across the world.