The Moon as a Calendar

Since ancient times people have used the phases of the Moon to judge the passing of time and the word month derives from the word Moon.

However, as a lunar month is 29.5 days and a solar year, the time it takes the Earth to go around the Sun, is 365 days, many countries use an adapted calendar to match up the lunar months with the solar year. An example of this is the Gregorian calendar, which changes the number of days in each month to make 365 days in total. Lunar-solar calendars, such as the Chinese, Hebrew or Hindu calendars, have a variable number of months in a year to bring the lunar and solar cycles together. The only purely lunar calendar in common use is the Islamic calendar, where each year is exactly 12 lunar months. This calendar is not linked to the seasons and each year it moves away from the solar year by 11 to 12 days, coming back into position every 33 Islamic years.

Below is a list of Full Moon dates. Use this list and the Moon phases chart above to set your moon to look like the Moon outside. The time given for each Full Moon is UTC or Coordinated Universal Time. This is only fractions of a second different to Greenwich Mean Time. Adjust the time of each Full Moon to match your time zone.