Back when the names of months were not spelled out the way they are today, a calendar year was divided by using different names of the full moon. This was how Native Americans living in the northern and eastern part of the United States at the time determined time in a year.
Even though European settlers also came up with a whole list of moon names, the system of assigning a particular period in a year to a specific “kind” of full moon remained more or less the same. However, the lunar calendars differ from the regular calendar that we are used to following.
For starters, every lunar month has 29.5 days. This means that dates of a lunar month is not fixed and keeps changing on a yearly basis. The following is a look at the lunar calendar as it appears in 2017.
Wolf, Snow And Worm
While the names of full moons seem all cute and fuzzy, there was particular logic behind the assigning of every name. As simple as it might be, it was the most convenient way to keep track of a year at the time.
Jan. 12, 6:34 a.m. EST is the Full Wolf Moon. Chilling temperature and snowstorms characterized this period, with winter reaching its prime. Since packs of wolves could be heard howling outside Native American tents and hence the full moon is thus named, Weather Plus reported. It is also called Old Moon or Moon after Yule in some areas.
Full Snow Moon occurs on Feb. 10, 7:33 p.m. EST. Heavy snow fall is pretty common at the time and hunting became next to impossible in the high mountains. Hence, this full moon was also dubbed as Full Hunger Moon by many.
Full Worm Moon will take place in March 12, 10:54 p.m. EDT. It is when robin returns to feast on the worms poking their heads out of the ground. It is also called Full Crow Moon, owing to the increase in cawing of crows; Full Crust Moon because the frozen ground starts to thaw in the day; and Full Sap Moon denoting the perfect time to tap maple trees.
Pink, Flower and Strawberry Moon
The name Full Pink Moon, which occurs on April 11, 2:08 a.m. EDT has got nothing to do with the color of the moon. It is named after the pink orchid, or wild ground phlox, which marks the advent of Spring. It is also known by names like Full Sprouting Grass Moon, Egg Moon and Full Fish Moon. The latter couple of names represented the period when the fishes came upstream to lay eggs.
Full Flower Moon, Corn Moon, Planting Moon or Milk Moon, which occurs on May 10, 5:42 p.m. EDT are pretty self-explanatory. It is the ideal time to sow seeds for agriculture and also the time when flowers are in full bloom.
Buck, Sturgeon, Corn Moon
Full Buck Moon occurs on July 9, 12:07 a.m. EDT when the antlers of the buck deer emerges from its head. It is also called Full Thunder Moon since the period is frequented by thunderstorms.
Full Sturgeon Mon takes place on Aug. 7, 2:11 p.m. EDT and is named after the fish that is most caught in wide-mouthed lakes. A red-like hue envelope the rising moon and is hence called the Red Moon.
Full Corn Moon or Full Barley Moon occurs in Sept. 6, 3:03 a.m. EDT. The name suggest that it’s the time to start harvesting the crops sown at the time of Planting Moon, reports Space.
Harvest, Beaver, Cold Moon
The Harvest Moon shows itself just around autumn, that is, Oct. 5, 2:40 p.m. EDT. It is when farmers are busy reaping the fruits of their labor and do so well into the night, thanks to the bright glow from the moon at night.
Full Beaver Moon is also called Frosty Moon and happens on Nov. 4, 1:23 a.m. EST. It could have been named as such because the Native Americans got busy slaying beavers to use their fur in the upcoming winter. It also denotes the time that beavers themselves stock up on food to survive through the winter season.
Full Cold moon, occurring on Dec. 3, 10:47 a.m. EST signals the arrival of winter. It is also called Moon before Yule and Full Long Nights Moon, following the fact that winter is characterized by lengthier nights.