Lunisolar Calendar 2006

  • Can you even imagine time without breaking it up into seven-day weeks?
  • Would you like to be more in touch with the seasons, planets, moon, and stars?
  • Are you tired of calendars that often list the moon's quarters on the wrong days, because they're set for a far-away time zone and don't bother to correct for North American longitudes?
Click on the calendar page below to see this month's lunisolar calendar full size.

This lunisolar calendar was last published in 2005.

About the Lunisolar Calendar....

This calendar is astronomical rather than astrological in approach. Each lunation, new moon to new moon, gets its own page, like the standard month calendar, but with the weeks replaced by quarters. (Quarter lengths vary from 6 to 9 days long.) Each day is an approximately one inch square to write in, with the gregorian date and day of week marked in each one, plus a small picture approximating the appearance of the moon on that date and information on assorted holidays and astronomical events of interest.

Why is this a lunisolar calendar, rather than a lunar calendar?

A true lunar calendar is not corrected to the earth's motion around the sun, so the months range around the entire year, as time passes. The only major calendar of this sort I know is the Islamic calendar; each month has its turn at every different season of the year. The Hebrew, Chinese, European, and Native American traditions include intercalary months, which serve the same purpose as the "leap day", February 29, which keeps the Gregorian calendar from getting out of synchronization with the seasons. The scheme that I'm using centers the moon on the autumnal equinox, much like the Hebrew calendar which, every year, has its new year, coincidentally, at the beginning of our Harvest moon.

Where do the lunation names come from?

The names come from northeastern US traditions, most of them apparently derived from the Algonquin tribe. The exact names I use were the ones used by the original Old Farmer's Almanac for many years, though in the last decade or so they've become more creative and use different names, varying from year to year. The Algonquins apparently did use various names, though it is unclear whether this variation was geographical or used to differentiate one year from another. Other Native American tribes used many different names. The Lakota names, for example, center around the yearly cycle of the life of the buffalo, for obvious reasons.

How do you know which name applies to which lunation?

The full moon which is closest to the autumnal equinox is the Harvest moon, which is followed, in order, by the Hunter's moon, the Beaver moon, the Cold moon, the Wolf moon, the Snow moon, the Sap moon, the Pink moon (referring to flowers rather than the color, I think), the Flower moon, the Strawberry moon, the Buck moon, the Sturgeon moon, and, only when necessary, the Corn moon. The Corn moon appears only in years in which the lunation following the Sturgeon moon is too early to contain the autumnal equinox; 1998 is one example of such a year.

More details on this Lunisolar calendar

A description of where and when the planets may be seen in the sky is given for each month, along with major meteor showers, etc. Planetary conjunctions and the like are also noted. Everything possible is corrected to US Central Time, rather than the standard Greenwich mean time. Major Christian, Pagan, Jewish, Chinese, and Islamic holidays are included, as well as those Hindu holidays whose dates I could ascertain. Each lunation is named according to Northeastern US traditions, and equivalents to the Hebrew, Islamic, and Chinese lunar calendars are also noted for each month, along with the exact North American start dates of the Hebrew and Islamic calendar months, which vary slightly from the astronomical new moon.

The Lunar Calendar and Pregnancy

Can I use a lunar calendar to predict when my baby will be born? If it's your first baby, your best bet is to try counting forward nine lunar months, and then forward by three lunar quarters; for a second or later baby, try nine and a half lunations, plus one day.

On average, your first baby will be born 274 days after conception, or approximately 288 days after the start of the last menstrual period. Later babies are born, on average, 269 days after the actual date of conception, or 283 days after the start of the last menstrual period. (Reference: Obstet Gynecol. 1990 Jun;75(6):929-32.) This is considerably longer than the usual estimate of 280 days! No wonder it seems that the majority of women have babies that are officially overdue. 288 days is approximately nine and three-quarters lunar months, since a lunar month is approximately 29.53 days long. When people claim that a pregnancy is exactly 10 lunar months, they are making the mistake of calculating a lunar month to be 28 days long.

Are more babies born at the full moon? No, the full moon does not appear to have any effect on labor. In fact, when my first baby was due, the moon was full, but the labor department of the hospital was nearly empty. When he was actually born, one week later, at the third quarter of the moon, the hospital was full! Interestingly, it seems that the barometric pressure might be related to when babies are born, with more babies being born after the barometric pressure drops, during a big storm, as though a drop in the barometer sometimes triggers labor.

Can I use a lunar calendar to predict my baby's sex? No, there is no relationship whatsoever between conception or birth date and the baby's sex, regardless of which calendar is used for the calculation. The old claim that the Chinese lunar calendar can be used to predict whether you will have a boy or a girl is entirely fictitious. Sorry! (I was silly enough to try it for both of my babies; both were predicted to be girls, and both turned out to be boys.)


This calendar is copyrighted by the author and must not be copied onto other web pages or into other calendars without permission. Use made of information obtained from this page should be properly footnoted, with a reference to this page. Links to this page ( are always welcome, and may make use of one of the tiny pictures currently visible on this page, if you wish.

More questions?

Please do not write to me asking me when the full moon is, or anything else that is easily answered simply by looking at the files presented here!

Lunar phases for dates in the past or future

If you need to know the lunar phase on any particular date, in the past or future, I strongly recommend the use of the US Navy's Virtual Reality Moon Phase Pictures page, which will calculate the phase for you on the fly.

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Page created: December 12, 1997
Last updated:December 1, 2005

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