Full Moons for October 2020

Watch for the Halloween Blue Moon!

October 27, 2020
Full Hunter's Moon png - OFA

October has two full Moons this year: the full Harvest Moon on October 1 and the full Hunter’s Moon on the 31st—Halloween! Learn more about these two special full Moons. 

When to See October’s Full Moons

The first of October’s full Moons appeared on Thursday, October 1, reaching peak illumination at 5:06 P.M. Eastern Time. October’s second full Moon rises on Halloween—Saturday, October 31—and hits peak illumination at 10:51 A.M. Eastern Time.

As the Moon rises over the horizon around sunset, it may appear larger and more orange—how perfect for the fall season! But don’t be fooled by the “Moon Illusion,” which makes the Moon appear bigger than it really is.

Want to know the exact time of moonrise in your location? Check out our Moonrise and Moonset Calculator.

A Spooky Halloween Blue Moon

As stated above, October’s second full Moon appears on Saturday, October 31, making Halloween night extra special this year. This full Moon is known as the Hunter’s Moon, as this is the time of year when humans and animals alike are stocking up on food in preparation for the long winter ahead.

Just how rare is a full Moon on Halloween? Find out here!

Because the Hunter’s Moon is the second full Moon in the month of October, it is also considered a “Blue Moon.” This term refers either to the second full Moon to occur within a single calendar month or to the third full Moon in a calendar season. Despite the name, the Moon won’t actually appear blue-tinged; it will be its normal golden hue near the horizon, transitioning to a bright white overhead. 

But wait! Here’s another fun fact that you should know about this full Moon: The Hunter’s Moon will be the smallest full Moon of the year—a so-called “minimoon“—thanks to it being farther away from Earth than any other full Moon in 2020. As you might guess, a minimoon is the opposite of a supermoon. This phenomenon is caused by the Moon’s oval-shaped orbit around Earth, which results in the Moon being farther and closer to the Earth at different points in its orbit. (The closest and farthest points in the Moon’s orbit are called perigee and apogee, respectively.)

It’s also worth noting that, as with a Blue Moon, a minimoon won’t actually appear any different than a normal full Moon does! Still, it’s a nice fun fact to know about this rare Halloween Moon.

A buck carrying the full moon in his antlers.
A buck carrying the Moon in his antlers. Credit: Gallinago/Shutterstock.

The Harvest, the Hunter, and the Equinox

For decades, the Almanac has referenced the monthly full Moons with names tied to early Native American and Colonial folklore. However, both the Harvest Moon and the Hunter’s Moon are unique in that they are not related to this folklore, nor necessarily tied to a single month. Instead, they relate to an astronomical event: the autumnal equinox!

The Harvest Moon is said to be the full Moon which occurs nearest to the date of the autumnal equinox (September 22, 2020). This means that either September or October’s full Moon may take on the name “Harvest Moon” instead of its traditional name. Similarly, the Hunter’s Moon is the first full Moon to follow the Harvest Moon, meaning that it can occur in either October or November.

This year, both the Harvest Moon (October 1) and Hunter’s Moon (October 31) occur in October.

Moon Phases for October 2020

See all Moon phase dates and times (EDT) below. See the Moon Phase Calendar for your location.

Full Harvest Moon: October 1, 5:06 P.M.
Last Quarter Moon: October 9, 8:40 PM
New Moon: October 16, 3:31 P.M.
First Quarter Moon: October 23, 9:23 A.M.
Full Hunter’s Moon: October 31, 10:51 A.M.

For your next full Moon, see our Full Moon Dates chart.

Why Is It Called the Hunter’s Moon?

Some folks believe that this full Moon was called the full Hunter’s Moon because it signaled the time to go hunting in preparation for winter. Since the harvesters had recently reaped the fields under the Harvest Moon, hunters could easily see the fattened deer and other animals that had come out to glean (and the foxes and wolves that had come out to prey on them).

About October Moon Names

The earliest use of the term “Hunter’s Moon” cited in the Oxford English Dictionary is from 1710. Some sources suggest that other names for the Hunter’s Moon are the Sanguine or Blood Moon, either associated with the blood from with hunting or the turning of the leaves in autumn. 

Some Native American tribes, who tied the full Moon names to the season’s activities, called the full Moon the “Travel Moon” and the “Dying Grass Moon.” 

Image: Moonrise over the Syr Darya river, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls 
Image: Moonrise over the Syr Darya river, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls 

In lunisolar calendars, the months change with the new Moon and full Moons fall in the middle of the lunar month. This full Moon falls near the middle of the ninth month in the Chinese calendar and Marcheshvan in the Hebrew calendar. In the Islamic calendar, the months start with the first sighting of the waxing crescent Moon a few days after the New Moon. This full Moon is near the middle of Safar, the second month of the Islamic year.

Read more about Full Moon names and meanings.

October Full Moon Video 

Each month, we will explain the traditional names of the full Moon along with some fascinating Moon facts. Click below to watch the video.

Best Days in October 2020

Below are some of the best days for certain activities, based on the Moon’s sign and phase in October.

For Harvesting

Aboveground crops: 21, 22, 31

Belowground crops: 4, 5

For Setting Eggs

5, 6

For Fishing

1, 16–31

See Best Days for more activities.

Moon Folklore

  • Corn planted under a waning Moon grows slower but yields larger ears.
  • Babies born a day after the full Moon enjoy success and endurance.
  • A new Moon in your dreams promises increased wealth or a happy marriage.

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Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

Today is my birthday and it

Today is my birthday and it was nice to see this moon on the way to taking my guy to work. It was great to start my birthday with something so pretty.

THE MOON RULEZ #1!!!!

THE MOON RULEZ #1!!!!

I was born on a full moon in

I was born on a full moon in '92. My baby girl is due in just a few days but everyone is saying she will come on the next full moon (this Friday) I would hope so, to me that would be a great night for her to come. I have always loved the moon.

My son was born on a Full

My son was born on a Full Moon in '92 as well. As a two year old he would point out the moon, even if it was just a sliver, in broad daylight. We called him our moon child. Here's to a happy, healthy baby when ever she decides to join you!

I have to wonder one thing...

I have to wonder one thing... since the OFA insists on incorrectly listing Midsummer and Midwinter as the Beginning of Summer and the Beginning of Winter, does that mean we should follow suit and consider the Full Moon to really be the Dark Moon, and thus pretend the Dark or New Moon falls on the Full Moon? (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

I have to wonder why you feel

I have to wonder why you feel the need to continually correct the OFA on their own Web site. I have seen your name multiple times and they've even responded to you. Consider that they different point of view and be respectful of it, as they are of you.

Do NOT deliver on FULL MOON !

Do NOT deliver on FULL MOON ! I am ***Very*** serious !

Why would you say this? Many

Why would you say this? Many babies are born on the full moon, and unless it's a planned C-section it's not as if we have much choice. My first child was born on the full moon, and although it was intense, it was also a magical experience, so powerful. I felt invigorated after that birth in a way that didn't happen with my second birthing which was not on the full moon.

We try to plant seeds under a

We try to plant seeds under a waxing moon - and leave things be under a waning moon. Does this make sense?

I see the comment about corn growing slower but with bigger cobs under a waning moon, and wonder .......

Thanks for your input.

ruth

Hi, Ruth, Above-ground crops

The Editors's picture

Hi, Ruth, Above-ground crops are planted during the light of the Moon (new to full); below-ground crops are planted during the dark of the Moon (from the day after it is full to the day before it is new again). Planting is done in the daytime; planting at night is optional!

I hv a lots of complications

I hv a lots of complications in my delivery.... nd doctors advised me for secerion..... nw we r deciding for the date 18 oct.... is it a gud day for my baby nd me

no the 19th is a gud day 4 yu

no the 19th is a gud day 4 yu nd yur bby

Just got back from a Hallow's

Just got back from a Hallow's eve spirit hunt in an old cemetery ... got some eerie stuff on voice recorder...glad we had plenty of moonlight to light our path

I have just been walking with

I have just been walking with one of our Labradors in the field.No need for a torch as the moon is full and the sky is clear.There are lots of stars out too. make me really appreciate that I live here -www.carrhousefarm.co.uk

Sounds beautiful.

Sounds beautiful.

I was born on the full moon.

I was born on the full moon. 11/1/1963. Full moons have always felt special to me,like they are dropping by for a visit.

I know exactly how you feel..

I know exactly how you feel.. i was born on 2-6-66.. my mother says i was the most magical birth .. all my emotions follow the lunar cycle.. i know when he moon s going to be full 3 days before it is.. that's when my spiritual energy is at it's peak...

Preparing for rituals.

Preparing for rituals.

I want to charge crystals and

I want to charge crystals and consecrate candles. Is a Hunter's Moon appropriate?

Any full moon is appropriate

Any full moon is appropriate to charge crystals and such. The charges will differ based on the particular qualities of each moon. Anything related with hunting bodes well. Hunters are strong, wise and at one with nature and the environment. It is a bit darker than say, a Harvest moon- mainly because of the bloody nature of a hunt.

What herbs do u best like

What herbs do u best like using?

I love the moon

I love the moon

Look forward to this

Look forward to this information on the moon

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