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Full moon names and what they mean – WITN

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Native American tribes named full moon cycles to relate to activities or events happening at that time of the year. These tribes didn’t use a Gregorian calendar like we use today, so they marked the passage of time by both the moon cycles and the seasons. Most of the moon names come from the Algonquin tribes which stretched from the Great Lakes into New England.
Our year begins with the January full moon which is called the Wolf Moon. In the dead of winter, wolves would howl at this full moon to locate other wolves and perhaps out of hunger since prey was scarce during this very cold and often snowy time.
The February full moon is called the Snow Moon since this is when some of the heaviest snow would fall. Some tribes called this the hunger moon since food would become scarce this late into the winter season.
The March full moon is called the Worm Moon. As the ground thaws, earthworms begin to move and stir the soil. The movement of the worms brings the return of the Robin birds. Some tribes referred to this full moon as the Sap Moon as well. It is when maple syrup begins to flow.
April is the Pink Moon. An early sign of Spring, Ground phlox, would bloom in April with many pink blooms. This moon is also called the Fish moon when shad come upstream to spawn. It is also known as the Sprouting Grass moon.
The May full moon is the flower moon. We’ve all heard of the saying about April showers bring May flowers. This month tends to have some of the most beautiful and robust flowers. This moon is also called the Corn Planting moon and the Milk moon.
Strawberries ripen in June and thus the June full moon is called the Strawberry moon.
July is when young bucks begin to grow antlers. Therefore, the July full moon is called the Buck Moon. Some tribes also called this the Thunder moon since thunderstorms are more common in July.
August gets the name Sturgeon moon since this is when the sturgeon are most active in the Great Lakes. Other tribes call the August full moon the Red Moon because of the summer haze. Others call it the Green Corn moon.
September is most often called the Harvest moon, however the Harvest moon names goes with the full moon closest to the Atumnal Equinox. If the September full moon is early in the month, then the Harvest Moon becomes the October full moon. The reason this moon gets the name Harvest is because the light from the full moon helps farmers harvest crops well into the evening.
In October, the full moon is called the Hunter’s moon. This is when the crops are flattened so hunters can see prey easier. Also, the deer are fattened from the recent plentiful food. As mentioned above, if the full moon cycles are running near the beginning of the month, the October moon could be closest to the Autumnal Equinox, thus this would be the Harvest moon.
The November full moon is called the Beaver moon since this is when beaver traps are put out before waters freeze. Catching beaver meant getting fur and pelts, so people could keep warm in the upcoming winter.
December rounds out the year with the Cold moon. This is also called the Long Night’s moon. Obvisously, this is when it gets colder and nights are the longest. – Phillip Williams
Copyright 2022 WITN. All rights reserved.

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