Today is summer solstice, tonite a full moon. they’re both special, and when they just so happen to occur on the same day, as they will this year- this is once-in-a-lifetime special.
The 2016 North American summer solstice happens on June 20, 2016 at 6:34 PM EDT. That’s the very moment when, essentially, the sun stands still at its northernmost point as seen from Earth. Its zenith doesn’t yearn north or south, but waits patiently at the Tropic of Cancer before switching directions and heading south again.
It’s the day of the year with the most sunlight, the grand dame of long summer days. Even though technically it is only the first day of summer, it may actually be the best one of all. New York City will have 15.05 hours of daytime.
The summer solstice alone is iconic enough. It’s a day with a time-honored history rife with pagan celebrations and all things Stonehenge. But this year we get the big beautiful bonus of a full moon, which hits its peak on the same day. This hasn’t happened in 70 years.
Meanwhile, the June moon was known as the Strawberry Moon to early Native American tribes, who measured time by things like the moon, rather than a grid on a piece of paper or an electronic device. The full moon that happened now marked the season of strawberries – as it still does. More and more people have started harkening back to these more-seasonal full moon names; it's a lovely practice.
June: Full Strawberry Moon While most moons varied by name from tribe to tribe, June’s Full Strawberry Moon was universal amongst all of them. Strawberry harvest was relatively short and widely revered.