Full moon parties weren’t the invention of some astrology-loving, Co-Star-checking, tarot-card-pulling fanatic. They actually began in 1980s Thailand, when a group of tourists decided to start celebrating full moon nights on the island of Koh Phangan. Since then, the Thai celebration has attracted 20,000-30,000 travelers each month — marked by eating and drinking, fire shows, glow-in-the-dark body paint, lanterns, and a full evening of dancing.
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However, rituals celebrating the moon don’t have to be rowdy. Taking the time to reflect on the past month, spending time with loved ones and friends, and engaging in energy-restoring or aura-cleansing practices might be a better way to honor such a special astrological moment. (The next full moon, nicknamed the Cold Moon, is December 7.)
The moon, after all, symbolizes heightened emotions and divine feminine energy. A full moon is specifically a time “of greater activity, opportunity, and development,” according to The Pranic Healers. During the full moon phase, everything is amplified: it’s an energetic pinnacle of all that has happened in an individual’s life since the new moon from the previous month. It’s also a symbol of surrender and closure. Thus, reflecting on what you’ve cultivated during the waxing phase leading up to the full moon and planning what you will let go of in the following waning phase is a very fruitful activity — one that can surprise you with how restorative and soothing it feels.
Honoring the full moon requires introspection, but hosting your own full moon party — chock-full of meaningful rituals — can be a way to draw your loved ones closer and combine your energies for an even greater effect. Here are some ways that can help you make your next at-home full moon fest truly out of this world:
If the full moon falls on a warm night, consider hosting your party outdoors. You can decorate your patio or backyard with simple yet thoughtful touches like fairy lights, moon-themed place cards for each guest (with their star sign on them, perhaps, and a short explainer of what the next month holds for that sign), or throw pillows (encouraging guests to create a casual conversation circle at the end of the night).
My most recent full moon party only included me and my parents, so I opted-in for a simple table set-up outside. We had dinner before the sun set and proceeded to start the manifestation-writing segment of the party when the moon became visible.
It’s universal knowledge that a celebration isn’t a celebration without food. But don’t just opt-in for basic party foods like chips and dips: there is so much leeway for creativity when it comes to full moon party cooking!
My favorite moon-themed recipes include this super simple moon cake (which I adorned with a paper American flag), fruit-and-marshmallow fruit rockets (I made these sans marshmallow), an exquisite full moon martini, and pink moon milk (a tonic with Ashwagandha powder to promote sleep and relaxation). You can also cheat the system and serve guests circular foods like personal pizzas or zucchini bruschetta bites — the full moon is a perfect circle.
If you want to go above and beyond with menus, consider adopting this one that I made: it’s elegant, minimalistic, and adorned with many lunar elements.
The best part of a full moon party is partaking in activities that are out of the ordinary as compared to your day-to-day life. For instance, not everyone writes their manifestations on a daily basis or partakes in a moon bath (for which you can even bottle your own moon water).
For my party, I created a basic manifestation sheet that guests had to fill in while looking at the moon which included prompts like “my prayer to the universe” and “visualization: I see… I have… I feel.” The goal of this is for guests to refer back to the manifestation log in the coming weeks — checking in with themselves on whether they were able to release all they wanted, are still holding their affirmations close to heart, and have achieved all they planned on achieving.
More elaborate pursuits like cleansing, healing baths with salts and crystals or meditation in front of an altar of inspirational and energy-rich objects are also very relevant to the moon cycle and will help you feel centered. Maybe you won’t necessarily force your guests to do a moon bath, but the essence of the activity can be replicated with a ceremonial, liberating dip in your nearest swimming hole instead!
The point is: plan your party itinerary in a way that feels most salient to you and that will allow you to honor the completion of the moon’s waxing period. There is no right or wrong way to thank the universe for the gift of the moon.
Once your place cards are set out, your food prepared, and your activities scheduled to the dot — simply exhale and relax.
The hard part is over: now you just have to think about your intentions and close out yet another lunar month in your life.