Yesterday, January 12th, was the first full moon of 2017. Yesterday was also the first time this year I was asked “When is the next full moon?”
Many cultures have given distinct names to each recurring full moon. The names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred. The Farmer’s Almanac lists several names that are commonly used in the United States. The almanac explains that there were some variations in the moon names, but in general, the same ones were used among the Algonquin tribes from New England on west to Lake Superior. European settlers followed their own customs and created some of their own names.
This is when full moons will occur in 2017, according to NASA:
|Jan. 12||Wolf Moon||6:34 a.m.||11:34|
|Feb. 10||Snow Moon||7:33 p.m.||00:33 (2/11)|
|Mar. 12||Worm Moon||10:54 a.m.||15:54|
|Apr. 11||Pink Moon||2:08 a.m.||07:08|
|May 10||Flower Moon||5:43 p.m.||22:43|
|June 9||Strawberry Moon||9:10 a.m.||14:10|
|July 9||Buck Moon||12:07 a.m.||05:07|
|Aug. 7||Sturgeon Moon||2:11 p.m.||19:11|
|Sept. 6||Harvest Moon||3:03 a.m.||08:03|
|Oct. 5||Hunter’s Moon||2:40 p.m.||19:40|
|Nov. 4||Beaver Moon||12:23 a.m.||05:23|
|Dec. 3||Cold Moon||10:47 a.m.||15:47|
Other Native American people had different names. In the book “This Day in North American Indian History” (Da Capo Press, 2002), author Phil Konstantin lists more than 50 native peoples and their names for full moons. He also lists them on his website, AmericanIndian.net.
Full moon names often correspond to seasonal markers, so a Harvest Moon occurs at the end of the growing season, in September, and the Cold Moon occurs in frosty December. At least, that’s how it works in the Northern Hemisphere.
In the Southern Hemisphere, where the seasons are switched, the Harvest Moon occurs in March and the Cold Moon is in June. According to Earthsky.org, these are common names for full moons south of the equator.
January: Hay Moon, Buck Moon, Thunder Moon, Mead Moon
February (mid-summer): Grain Moon, Sturgeon Moon, Red Moon, Wyrt Moon, Corn Moon, Dog Moon, Barley Moon
March: Harvest Moon, Corn Moon
April: Harvest Moon, Hunter’s Moon, Blood Moon
May: Hunter’s Moon, Beaver Moon, Frost Moon
June: Oak Moon, Cold Moon, Long Night’s Moon
July: Wolf Moon, Old Moon, Ice Moon
August: Snow Moon, Storm Moon, Hunger Moon, Wolf Moon
September: Worm Moon, Lenten Moon, Crow Moon, Sugar Moon, Chaste Moon, Sap Moon
October: Egg Moon, Fish Moon, Seed Moon, Pink Moon, Waking Moon
November: Corn Moon, Milk Moon, Flower Moon, Hare Moon
December: Strawberry Moon, Honey Moon, Rose Moon
Here is a shot I took of last nights Wolf Moon – Aooooooooo