When the Moon’s a Balloon

For most of human history, the moon has been an important feature for keeping track of time and seasons. The word “month” even derives from “moon” and indicates the amount of time for the moon to go through one cycle (although the length of the modern month has been changed to divide the year equally).

The full moon of August was called the Sturgeon Moon by First Nations tribes, as these fish were easy to catch in the Great Lakes at this time of year.

The full moon of August was called the Sturgeon Moon by First Nations tribes, as sturgeon were easy to catch in the Great Lakes at this time of year.

Many different cultures have come up with names for the different full moons, either by calendar or by season. These included the Celts, the Chinese, and New Guinea. In North America, the most common names come from the First Nations, especially the Algonquin tribes whose moon names were adopted by early settlers.

January: Wolf Moon, Old Moon.

February: Snow Moon, Hunger Moon.

March: Worm Moon, Crow Moon, Crust Moon, Sap Moon.

April: Pink Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, Egg Moon, Full Fish Moon.

May: Flower Moon, Corn Planting Moon, Milk Moon.

June: Strawberry Moon.

July: Buck Moon, Thunder Moon, Hay Moon.

August: Sturgeon Moon, Red Moon, Green Corn Moon, Grain Moon.

September: Corn Moon, Harvest Moon (if closest to the autumn equinox).

October: Hunter’s Moon, Blood Moon, Sanguine Moon, Harvest Moon (about one in three years, when it is closer to the autumn equinox than the September moon).

November: Beaver Moon, Frosty Moon.

December: Cold Moon, Long Nights Moon.

Early settlers (mostly British) to North America also had names for a few special moons, such as the Lenten Moon in March, the Moon before Yule and the Moon after Yule.

By Charlene Wirtz

 

Sources: Farmer’s Almanac, earthsky.com, quora.com

 

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