|Did you know that the Full Moon has many different names?
Then names of the Full Moon date back to the Native American Tribes of a few hundred years ago. These native
Americans lived in what is now the North and Eastern United States. Those Tribes kept track of the seasons by
providing names to each recurring Full Moon. Each name was applied to the entire month in which each occurred.
While there are some variations in the moon names in general, the same one were used throughout the Algonquin
tribes from New England to Lake Superior.
The Europeans followed their own customs and created their own names.
Since the lunar month is roughly 29.5 days in length, the dates of the Full Moon shift every year.
Wolf Moon: •January Amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Indian
villages. Thus, the name for January’s full Moon. Sometimes it was also referred to as the Old Moon, or the Moon
After Yule. Some called it the Full Snow Moon, but most tribes applied that name to the next Moon.
Full Snow Moon: •February Since the heaviest snow usually falls during this month, native tribes of the north and
east most often called February’s full Moon the Full Snow Moon. Some tribes also referred to this Moon as the Full
Hunger Moon, since harsh weather conditions in their areas made hunting very difficult.
Full Worm Moon: •March As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts
appear, heralding the return of the robins. The more northern tribes knew this Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when
the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter; or the Full Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted
from thawing by day and freezing at night. The Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another
variation. To the settlers, it was also known as the Lenten Moon, and was considered to be the last full Moon of
Full Pink Moon: •The grass pink or wild phlox is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names
were the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon and — among coastal tribes — the Full Fish Moon, when the
shad come upstream to spawn. The moon will also undergo a very slight partial lunar eclipse <http://www.space.
com/15689-lunar-eclipses.html> , which will be visible from the Eastern Hemisphere, but not from North America. At
its peak, less than 1.5 percent of the moon's diameter will be immersed in the Earth’s umbral shadow; a very
underwhelming event to say the least.
Full Flower Moon: • Full Flower Moon – May In most areas, flowers are abundant everywhere during this time. Thus,
the name of this Moon. Other names include the Full Corn Planting Moon, or the Milk Moon.
Full Strawberry Moon: • Full Strawberry Moon – June This name was universal to every Algonquin tribe. However, in
Europe they called it the Rose Moon. Also because the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries comes
each year during the month of June . . . so the full Moon that occurs during that month was christened for the
Full Buck Moon: • The Full Buck Moon – July July is normally the month when the new antlers of buck deer push
out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. It was also often called the Full Thunder Moon, for the reason that
thunderstorms are most frequent during this time. Another name for this month’s Moon was the Full Hay Moon.
Full Sturgeon Moon: • Full Sturgeon Moon – August The fishing tribes are given credit for the naming of this Moon,
since sturgeon, a large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water, were most readily caught during this
month. A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because, as the Moon rises, it appears reddish through any sultry
haze. It was also called the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon.
Full Corn Moon: • Full Corn Moon or Full Harvest Moon – September This full moon’s name is attributed to Native
Americans because it marked when corn was supposed to be harvested. Most often, the September full moon is
actually the Harvest Moon, which is the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox. In two years out of
three, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October. At the peak of harvest,
farmers can work late into the night by the light of this Moon. Usually the full Moon rises an average of 50 minutes
later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the Moon seems to rise at nearly the same time
each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the U.S., and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and
Europe. Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice the chief Indian staples are now ready for gathering.
Full Hunters' Moon: • Full Hunter’s Moon or Full Harvest Moon – October This full Moon is often referred to as the
Full Hunter’s Moon, Blood Moon, or Sanguine Moon. Many moons ago, Native Americans named this bright moon
for obvious reasons. The leaves are falling from trees, the deer are fattened, and it’s time to begin storing up meat for
the long winter ahead. Because the fields were traditionally reaped in late September or early October, hunters
could easily see fox and other animals that come out to glean from the fallen grains. Probably because of the threat
of winter looming close, the Hunter’s Moon is generally accorded with special honor, historically serving as an
important feast day in both Western Europe and among many Native American tribes.
Full Beaver Moon: • Full Beaver Moon – November This was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze,
to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Full Beaver Moon comes from
the fact that the beavers are now actively preparing for winter. It is sometimes also referred to as the Frosty Moon.
Full Cold Moon: • The Full Cold Moon; or the Full Long Nights Moon – December During this month the winter cold
fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest. It is also sometimes called the Moon before Yule. The
term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long, and because the
Moon is above the horizon for a long time. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it
is opposite a low Sun.
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