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Types of Moons

Full Moon names date back to Native Americans, of what is now the northern and eastern United States. The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full Moon. Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred. There was some variation in the Moon names, but in general, the same ones were current throughout the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior. European settlers followed that custom and created some of their own names. Since the lunar month is only 29 days long on the average, the full Moon dates shift from year to year.


January - The Wolf Moon - The Old Moon - The Moon after Yule


Named the wolf moon for the wolves that stalked early Indian villages looking for food during the winter months.


February - The Snow Moon - The Quickening Moon - The Hunger Moon


Named the snow moon due to the fact that the heaviest snowfall often falls during this month. Also called the hunger moon because food was often scarce during this time.


Called the Quickening moon to acknowledge that the worst of winter has passed and soon, the growing cycle will begin.


March - The Worm Moon - The Storm Moon - The Crow Moon - The Crust Moon - The Sap Moon - The Lenten Moon


Named the worm moon because during the month of march, earthworm casts appear signifying the return of the birds.


Named the storm moon for the rains that nourish the soil and awaken life.


Called the crow moon to recognize the cawing of the crows which signified the end of winter.


It was also called the crust moon because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night.

The Full Sap Moon, marked the time of tapping maple trees.


To the settlers, it was also known as the Lenten Moon, and was considered to be the last full Moon of winter.


April - The Wind Moon - The Pink Moon -The Sprouting Grass Moon - The Egg Moon - The Fish Moon


Called the wind moon to signify the winds that carry the seeds.


The pink moon was called such to acknowledge herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring.


The egg moon & fish moon names were used to acknowledge the spawning of fish.


May - The Flower Moon - Corn Planting Moon


In most areas, flowers are abundant everywhere during this time. Thus, the name of this Moon.


June - The Strawberry Moon - Strong Sun Moon


Dubbed the strawberry moon because the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries comes each year during the month of June.


Called the strong sun moon to acknowledge the warmth of the sun that not only aids in the growing process, but also to signify relaxation. The seeds are sewn, the flowers are open, fruit is not yet ready to harvest. This time brings a natural lull in farming.


July - The Buck Moon - The Thunder Moon - Hay Moon


July was called the buck moon because during this month is when you see the antlers of the deer push out from their foreheads.


Thunder Moon signified the sometimes violent thunderstorms during the month of July.


The Hay Moon name was given because this is the time to start haying the fields.


August - Full Sturgeon Moon - The Red Moon - Grain Moon - Corn Moon


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 as this is the time to start the harvest.


September - Harvest Moon - Corn Moon


Called such as this is the month that harvesting is in full swing.


October - Harvest Moon - Blood Moon


This 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.


Also called the blood moon as this is the time that animals are slaughtered, their hides tanned, and meat stored.


November - Beaver Moon - Frost Moon - Snow Moon


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.

Also called the Frost or Snow Moon as during this time, the sun wanes and growth slows. It is the beginning of Winter.


December - The Full Cold Moon - Long Nights Moon


During this month the winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest. 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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