The Sultry Full Moon of August


This month’s Full Moon occurs today, August 18. In Paradelle, it appeared early this morning, but when we look at it tonight it may look like the Full Red Moon that it is sometimes named. That is because, especially as the Moon rises, it appears reddish through any sultry summer haze.

Sultry is an interesting word that means, in referring to the air or weather, hot and humid, stifling, oppressive, muggy, sticky, or sweltering. But we also use it to refer to a person, especially a woman, and it means attractive in a way that suggests a passionate nature and sensual, sexy, voluptuous, erotic, or seductive. It’s likely to feel sultry outside for many Americans today. I’m not sure how sexy it will feel. What is the connection between the two definitions? Feel free to comment.

Indian tribes that fished, especially near the Great Lakes, often called it the Full Sturgeon Moon. That large fish was more readily caught during this late summer.

It was more likely to be known to the New World settlers, who measured the year and season based on the crops and flowers, by names such as the Grain Moon or Corn Moon. Corn Moon is a name given to several monthly Full Moons, especially by Indian tribes, and it varied based on geography. A green corn ceremony was celebrated by some tribes, while others were harvesting ripe corn now.

As a kid, I had seen the movie The Teahouse Of The August Moon (with Marlon Brando!) and that fictional place in Japan seemed quite romantic to me as a name for this Full Moon.

I saw someone posted that in the Chinese calendar, the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the full moon of the eighth month. That seemed odd to me, so I did some checking and that would be around mid or late September or early October in our Gregorian calendar version of the Chinese calendar..

Published by


A lifelong educator on and off the Internet. Random by design and predictably irrational. It's turtles all the way down. Dolce far niente.

Add to the conversation about this article

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.