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Full moon calendar 2023 for cold water swimming

Blood moon

The allure of the full moon evokes a sense of wonder and curiosity for many of us.

For avid cold water swimmers seeking to push their boundaries and experience nighttime swimming, understanding the full moon calendar of 2023 is crucial.

As the lunar cycles pass throughout the year, each full moon holds unique implications for those seeking to embark on nighttime adventures.

In this article, we delve into the full moon schedule of 2023 and explore its significance for cold water swimmers who want to take to the waters during these lunar nights.

So, gear up, dive in, and prepare to navigate the moonlit waters as we unveil the guide to night swimming during the full moons of 2023.

Full Moon Schedule from July to December 2023

Full moon
Full moon in clear sky

Below is the full moon schedule for 2023 from July to December.

July – Buck Moon

Monday 3rd July, 12:39 pm BST

The full moon of July, known as the “Buck Moon,” gets its name from the process of male deer developing new antlers, which occurs in the northern hemisphere during this particular month.

The July full moon is also commonly called the “Thunder Moon,” “Hay Moon,” and “Wyrt Moon.”

August – Hungry Ghosts and Full Blue Moon

No excuse to miss an August full moon as it has two!

Hungry Ghost Moon: Tuesday 1st August, 07:31 pm BST

The full moon occurring in the seventh month of the lunar year is referred to as the Hungry Ghost Moon in Chinese culture.

This Chinese tradition draws parallels to the ancient Irish perception of Samhain, a festival signifying the start of winter in Ireland (October 31st – Halloween in North America).

During the Hungry Ghost Moon, similar to Samhain, it is believed that spirits have the freedom to wander between our world and the Otherworld or the Eternal world. At this time, the boundary separating these realms is considered “thin.”

So, be careful when swimming during a Hungry Ghost moon, as you may not be alone!

Full Blue Moon: Thursday 31st August, 02:35 am BST

The “full blue moon” is named as such due to its occurrence as the second full moon within a calendar month.

This particular moon holds the distinction of being one of the two supermoons in 2023.

September – Big Moon

Friday 29th September, 10:57 am BST

As implied by its name, the full moon in September is noticeably bigger and brighter in comparison to its appearances during other times of the year.

This heightened luminosity led Native American tribes to dub it the ‘Big Moon.’

Meanwhile, in the UK, it is commonly known as the ‘Harvest Moon.’

October – Blood Moon

Saturday 28th October, 09:24 pm BST

The ‘Blood Moon’ or ‘Hunter Moon’ appears early in the evenings and positions itself closer to the horizon meaning it is often seen low in the sky.

Its positioning in the sky makes it appear larger, like the Big Moon in September. The Blood Moon can beautifully light up the night sky.

The Blood Moon shines rays of blue light, which in turn gives it its red colour as it allows more red light to reach your eyes.

November – Reed Moon

Monday 27th November, 10:16 am GMT

The name Reed Moon comes from the fact that in November reeds reach a stage of readiness for cutting.

These reeds possess substantial and robust roots that serve to anchor the soil along riverbanks, promoting stability.

So keep an eye out for these reeds during your November swims!

December – Cold Moon

Wednesday 27th December, 01:33 am GMT

As December signals the arrival of winter, the Full Moon during this time is appropriately named the Cold Moon.

It is also known as the Long Nights Moon, signifying the lengthening nights of the season, and referred to as the Moon before Yule, a name associated with the winter solstice.

Cold water swimming is an ever-green activity; however, please take extra caution in the Winter, as temperatures drop!


What was the full moon calendar for the first half of 2023?

Here’s a brief breakdown of the full moons from January to June in 2023:

  • January – Wolf Moon
  • February – Snow Moon
  • March – Storm Moon
  • April – Full Pink Moon
  • May – Big Leaf Moon
  • June – Hay Moon

Don’t worry if you missed these this year, there’s always next!

We’ll do an updated 2024 article at the start of next year so keep an eye on our socials.

Why is the moon schedule important for cold water swimmers?

Full moon schedules are important for cold water swimmers to understand for many reasons, such as visibility and safety.

For example, depending on where the moon is in the lunar cycle, swimmers can be provided with enhanced visibility during nighttime swims, especially during a full moon.

Phases of the moon can also greatly affect how tides behave. The gravitational pull of the moon affects oceanic tides, causing them to fluctuate throughout the different moon phases.

Tidal activity is particularly relevant for swimmers venturing into cold waters, as tidal movements can impact water currents and temperatures. 

Make sure to check the dates of the full moons before swimming in the Ocean at night, to ensure you remain safe and are aware of your environment.

moon over water
Moon over the ocean

What kinds of full moon are there?

Here are some full moon names in the UK:

  • Hunger Moon (February)
  • Worm Moon & Sap Moon (March)
  • Flower Moon (May)
  • Strawberry Moon (June)
  • Sturgeon Moon (August)
  • Corn Moon (September)
  • Hunters Moon (October)
  • Beaver Moon & Frost Moon (November)
  • Oak Moon (December)

What is night swimming?

Night swimming refers to the activity of swimming during the nighttime hours, typically after sunset and before sunrise.

Night swimming can provide a unique experience, allowing swimmers to immerse themselves in the tranquillity of the nighttime.

It can be a thrilling and peaceful activity, providing a different perspective and sense of adventure compared to swimming during daylight hours.

However, it’s important to note that night swimming comes with its own set of considerations and potential risks, such as decreased visibility.

Reed Moon
Moon shining over reeds


As we conclude our exploration of the full moon calendar for 2023 and its implications for cold water swimmers, one thing becomes clear: the moon’s influence on our cold swimming experiences is both impressive and practical.

From the beauty of a shimmering moon on the water to the practical considerations of tidal movements and enhanced visibility, the full moon holds tremendous potential for transforming ordinary swims into extraordinary ones.

However, it is crucial to remember that embarking on nighttime swimming during a full moon requires careful planning, preparation, and adherence to safety guidelines.

Understanding the lunar calendar, tidal patterns, and local conditions is important to ensure a memorable and secure experience.

So, if you are an intrepid cold water swimmer wanting to dip your toe in new waters let Cold Water Swim’s full moon schedule of 2023 be your guide. Remember to check the full moon calendar to find out when the next full moon is!