Full Moon in September 2021

Feast Your Eyes on the Harvest Moon!

August 6, 2021
Full Harvest Moon - OFA
Colleen Quinnell/The Old Farmer's Almanac

September’s full Harvest Moon reaches its peak on Monday, September 20, 2021. Learn how the Harvest Moon got its name—plus, see Moon phase dates, Best Days by the Moon, folklore, and more!

When to See the Full Moon in September 2021

This year, look for September’s full Harvest Moon to rise in the southeast just after sunset on Monday, September 20—just two days before the fall equinox! This full Moon reaches peak illumination at 7:54 P.M. Eastern Time on the 20th.

Why Is It Called the Harvest Moon?

The full Moon names used by The Old Farmer’s Almanac come from a number of places, including Native American, Colonial American, and European sources. Traditionally, each full Moon name was applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred and through all of the Moon’s phases—not only the full Moon. The Harvest Moon, however, is a bit different!

The Harvest Moon

The full Moon that happens nearest to the fall equinox (September 22 or 23) always takes on the name “Harvest Moon.” Unlike other full Moons, this full Moon rises at nearly the same time—around sunset—for several evenings in a row, giving farmers several extra evenings of moonlight and allowing them to finish their harvests before the frosts of fall arrive. Read more about the Harvest Moon!

While September’s full Moon is usually known as the Harvest Moon, if October’s full Moon happens to occur closer to the equinox than September’s, it takes on the name “Harvest Moon” instead. In this case, September’s full Moon is referred to as the Corn Moon.

Harvest moon with plane flying in front of it

The Corn Moon

This time of year—late summer into early fall—corresponds with the time of harvesting corn in much of the northern United States. For this reason, a number of Native American peoples traditionally used some variation of the name “Corn Moon” to refer to the Moon of either August or September. Examples include Corn Maker Moon (Western Abenaki) and Corn Harvest Moon (Dakota). 

Alternative September Moon Names

Other Moon names for this month highlight how September is the transitional period between summer and fall:

  • Autumn Moon (Cree)
  • Falling Leaves Moon (Ojibwe)
  • Leaves Turning Moon (Anishinaabe)
  • Moon of Brown Leaves (Lakota)
  • Yellow Leaf Moon (Assiniboine)

The behavior of animals is also a common theme, with Child Moon (Tlingit) referring to the time when young animals are weaned, and Mating Moon and Rutting Moon (both Cree) describing the time of year when certain animals, like moose, elk, and deer, are looking to mate.

Read more about full Moon names and their traditional meanings here.

Moon Phases for September 2021

Here are Moon phase dates and times (EDT) for the month of September. Check our Moon Phase Calendar for dates and times in your city.

Moon Phases for September 2021

New Moon: September 6, 8:52 P.M. EDT
First Quarter: September 13, 4:41 P.M. EDT
Full Moon: September 20, 7:54 P.M. EDT
Last Quarter: September 28, 9:58 P.M. EDT

When is the next full Moon? Consult our Full Moon Calendar to find out.

September Full Moon Video

Why does the Moon ride high or low in the sky? Find out the answer to this question—and learn more about September’s Full Moon—in this entertaining video.

Photo Credit: Almanac reader, Robin Osbon

Best Days in September 2021

Below are the best days for activities, based on the Moon’s sign and phase in September.

Activity Best Days
Harvesting aboveground crops 14, 15
Harvesting belowground crops 23–25
Canning and Pickling 1, 2, 28–30
Fishing 6–20

See Best Days for more activities.


Moon Facts & Folklore

  • Usually, the Moon rises about 50 minutes later each day, but around the time of the autumnal equinox, it rises only around 30 minutes later in the United States—even less in Canada.
  • Frost occurring in the dark of the moon kills fruit buds and blossoms, but frost in the light of the moon will not.

Are you a full Moon lover? Share your thoughts below!


Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

Lunar Cycles

I love watching the cycles happen and was provided the opportunity to watch 2 full cycles during the quarantine. I have always been locked in to the moon for some reason. I am a Sagittarius born at 12:17 on 12/19/1963. If anyone has input as to why, I would love to hear it .

Ohio Beautiful Moons

Three beautiful full moons coming-up, Corn Moon, Harvest Moon and Hunter's Moon, here in the Ohio Valley. Just lovely.

What a beauteous sight to behold

Feel so lucky to live in the gorgeous Catalina Mountains in Oro Valley AZ. The moon coming up over these mountains is beyond breathtaking. I can't stop watching, want to sit all nite taking in such a glorious sight. So still, so erie, so peaceful, and always amazed at the brightness of the full moon and the shadows it creates. It is beautiful and bittersweet at the same time. I always think how nature will in the end endure, despite all the havoc we are wreaking to our planet.

Better mental state with a full moon

Not sure how or why this is but when it is a full moon or close to it I always feel a lot happier, optimistic, positive, refreshed etc. Full moons do for whatever reason improve my mental state. Don't know why. I'm sure it has to do with something

Name slaves called the full moon best to run away on.

One full moon was given a special name by slaves that was best for running away light. During the time when the Underground Railway was operating, they had to reach a known destination by moonlight. I can't remember what it was.

Underground Railroad and slaves

I spend my summers in Michigan and not far from Detroit. One of the last "stops" to The Underground Railroad was the border of the US and Ontario, Canada, where they went for their freedom. While there was never significant Canadian trade in African slaves, native nations frequently enslaved their rivals and a very modest number were purchased by colonial administrators and/or rarely by settlers until 1833, when the British Parliament abolished slavery across the British Empire. There is an interesting tour in Detroit that takes you along the journey that the slaves undertook. Until Emancipation, Detroit was a pivotal part of the Underground Railroad, and in the 1800's, a network of abolitionists, or “conductors,” who aided enslaved people seeking freedom. That’s because the city, code-named “Midnight,” provided access to Canada just across the Detroit River. But to answer your question, the migration of slaves or The Underground Railroad did NOT use the light of the full moon, but instead relied on the stars and in particular the North Star. The slaves fleeing slavery were hunted by the light of the full moon..either by bloodhounds and "pattyrollers". But all the FULL MOON names inherited their colloquial names from the Native Americans or First Nation peoples, and NOT slaves or their plight.

Moon view

Does anyone know a good location where people go to view the moon . Where u can sit in ur pickup truck and relax while you watch the moon with your date ? Near los angeles CA .

Moon gazing

Catherine Boeckmann's picture

Hi Kathy, What a cool idea. I don’t know LA well but here are some ideas: Griffith Observatory overlooking the Hollywood Sign, Point Dume in Malibu and Topanga State Park atop Elephant Rock.

Best view of the moon where you live

Being a moon "lunatic" and with the name Diana (goddess of the moon) I seek high ground when looking for the best (and earliest) moon view, when it appears the largest. Around our neighborhood there are lots of tall trees and some tall buildings that lock me out from viewing until the moon has been up for quite awhile. So I drive up into the hills where I can get an unobstructed view and am as far away from ambient light as possible. With the quiet around me and very little surrounding light I can really bask in the moonview for a long period of time. I recommend it for all you "loonies" out there!

The Full Moon

I always gasp in silent delight and awe when I see the full moon shining outside my window. Especially if I was not looking for it or counting on it, or planning for it. I smile and feel totally optimistic.

Full Moon September 5, 2017

I couldn't sleep so I got and and looked outside at the night sky, WOW ! I saw the most amazing bright orange full moon. It was well worth the lost sleep to behold such a sight. Such a deep, rich orange moon sitting up in our western sky. I would have paid to see such a sight gladly but it was free and amazing. (Thank-you MUM I know you had something to do with me waking up to see this. Thanks for looking down from heaven to Avelyn and me, rest peacefully.) London, Ontario Canada

Red moon

I stepped outside tonight, September 4, 2017, at about 9:30 pm in Hobart, Indiana (a little east of Chicago and Gary) The moon is approximately 30 degrees off the horizon. The striking thing is that it is a beautiful deep orange color. Why is that?

red moon

I saw the red moon to! I live in sturgis MI and saw it around the same time and it was still red at 11:30 pm. I wondered why it was so red I never have seen the moon this color before, I have seen it orange but never red,

Red Moon

The Editors's picture

Unfortunately, this beautiful red Moon is probably the result of the forest fires in Oregon. The smoke has crossed the continent. It’s very pretty though.

Red Full Corn Moon (September)

It was early evening on Sept. 6 in Upstate NY....I looked out from my backyard deck and on the eastern horizon, I saw the most beautiful full red moon. I took a pic with my mobile camera, but it did not capture the redness of the moon. Gorgeous!!


I'm really in love with the light from the moon, more so than the sun. it feels so energizing in a healthful way...is it possible moon light is better exposure than sun light?

Full Moons and Info about

Full Moons and Info about same.


Why is existence?

Same What?

Okay you said Full Moons and info about same what did you mean?

Full Moons!

Thanks! Love your publication and contribution!

Coming penumbral lunar eclipse on 16 September 2016 -its impacts

The lunar eclipse on 16 September 2016 is a penumbral. In this light , this Vedic astrology writer had , on 28 June and after on a number of occasions in 2016 , alerted the global community and India as well that planetary impacts during ongoing times particularly during 9 August to 20 September 2016 look to be suggesting coming into being of dangers to the world attended by political , economic and social upheavals having potential to cause health hazards or epidemics. Many global tensions in South China Sea , East China Sea , Ukraine - Baltic States - Russia, Koreas , US- Russia have been in the news during the aforesaid period. On 9 September 2016 , North Korea successfully tested nuclear device which caused man made earthquake of 5.3 magnitude in the sea. It is said that the bomb is much more lethal than Hydrogen Bomb used in Hiroshima during Second World War. The coming 10 days or more could likely cause eruption of hostilities having look -like shape of WW3 though may not be WW3. Let the global community have restraint during these horrible times.

pickeled corn

when to make pickeled corn

best days by the moon

The Editors's picture

Hi Karen, If you’re looking for the best days for pickling by the Moon, see this chart: http://www.almanac.com/bestdays/timetable Hope this helps!

Moon rides high, runs low in September

When in September does the moon ride high, on the equator, and runs low?

Moon rides high, etc.

The Editors's picture

This information can be found on page 145 of the national edition of The 2016 Old Farmer’s Almanac, on the Right-Hand Calendar Page for September. For 2016:
September 3: Moon on equator
September 10: Moon runs low
September 17: Moon on equator
September 23: Moon rides high
September 30: Moon on equator

full moon 2016

full moon will be on sunday 18th here in uganda

full moon of the month

Great you changed it....but now it says September....may I please have August?

Full Moon August

The Editors's picture

Hi Teri, we’re sorry about that! It has been updated, so you can find the full Moon for August here.

Wondering what happened to

Wondering what happened to the moon last night September 28th 2014. Was watching it go from a very pretty bright to the yellow & then to the blood red, It was only a crest moon but it totally changed colors then disappeared so to say. Like an eclipse but it never showed back up.? Did anyone else see it last night? 9 to 10 PMT (cst) color
changing then total dark @ 10 or just after. Looked for it all way up to 1 am.

Jeni, i was wondering exactly

Jeni, i was wondering exactly the same thing. That's why i went on this site to see if anyone had an answer to the self same question. Lo and behold you asked the same one! Sadly no answer yet. I'm looking out now and cannot see the new moon. Any answers anyone?