Music Science

Monthly Full Moon Names

Did you know that the moon has more than one name each month. Of course all of this was from the ancient past.
Native Americans in the eastern and northern US were the ones that started the naming of the full moon each month. Although there were some variations of the monthly names, generally the names were the same.

Here are the names for each month:

Full Wolf Moon
With the freezing zero cold along with extreme snows of midwinter – the packs of wolves were hungry and just outside the Indian Villages. The Full Wolf Moon is also known as the Old Moon or the Moon After Yule. In some tribes though, this is also known as the Full Snow Moon and would apply it to the name to the next moon.

Full Snow Moon
Usually the heaviest snows fall in this month. Hunting becomes extremely  difficult, so some tribes will call this the Full Hunger Moon.

Full Worm Moon
During March, the ground starts to soften and this allows the earthworms to appear, inviting the return of the robins. The Northern tribes also thought of this a the Full Crow Moon due to the cawing of the crows and hoping this will be the signal of the ending of winter. Or sometimes some tribes would call it the Full Crust Moon due to the snow cover becoming crusted from the thawing during the day and freezing during the night.

Full Pink Moon
The grass pink or wild ground phlox is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names were the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon and – among coastal tribes – the Full Fish Moon, when the shad come upstream to spawn.

Full Flower Moon
Flowers are now sprouting everywhere. This moon was also known as the Full Corn Planting Moon or the Milk Moon.

Full Strawberry Moon
In the north, strawberry (yummy) picking season peaks during this month.

Full Buck Moon
This is the month when the antlers of new bucks appear from their foreheads and their fur. It was also often called the Full Thunder Moon, thunderstorms being now most frequent. Sometimes it’s also called the Full Hay Moon.

Full Sturgeon Moon
This month the large fish of the Great Lakes and from other major bodies of water is most readily caught.
A few tribes named it as the Full Red Moon because when the moon rises it looks reddish when the moon appears thru the haze. Also called the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon.

Full Harvest Moon
The Harvest Moon usually comes in September in the Northern Hemisphere, but (on average) once or twice a decade it will fall in early October. At the peak of the harvest, farmers can work into the night by the light of this moon.
Usually the 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.

Full Hunters’ Moon
It’s hunting time. Since the fields have been reaped, hunters can ride, and can more easily see the animals, which can be caught for a Thanksgiving banquet after the harvest.

Full Beaver Moon
At this point of the year, it’s time to set beaver traps before the swamps freeze to ensure a supply of warm winter furs.   Some tribes call this month the Frosty Moon.

Full Cold Moon
December is also the month the winter cold fastens its grip. Sometimes this moon is referred to as the Full Long Nights Moon or the Moon Before Yule.