The full moon is a phenomenon sacred to cultures across the world. Native Americans gave names to the different full moons to honor cultural traditions, as well as to remember important times of the year. Many of the lunar nicknames are universal to Native American tribes. However, the Algonquin tribes of the northeast are credited with most of these names.
January – Full Wolf Moon
The January full moon is named after hungry wolves, howling at the moon in the dead of winter.
February – Full Snow Moon
February is noted to have abundant snowfall, leading to its full moon to be known as the Full Snow Moon. This moon is also sometimes referred to as the Hunger Moon because of the scarcedy of food during this month.
March – Full Worm Moon
In March, birds begin to return to feed on earthworm castings. The Full Worm Moon marks the return of spring, as the earth thaws.
April – Full Pink Moon
Herb Moss Pink blooms in April, and with many flowers beginning to bud and bloom, the April full moon is named the Full Pink Moon.
May – Full Flower Moon
In May, spring is in full swing, and flowers are abundant. Because of this, the May full moon is named the Full Flower Moon.
June – Full Strawberry Moon
Strawberries have a short harvesting season that occurs in June. To honor strawberry-picking season, Algonquin tribes refer to the June full moon as the Full Strawberry Moon.
July – Full Buck Moon
In July, antlers begin to come through for bucks, which led to the name Full Buck Moon.
August – Full Sturgeon Moon
The August full moon is called the Full Sturgeon Moon. It’s name is credited to fishing tribes, who knew sturgeon was easiest to catch in August.
September – Full Corn Moon
The September full moon marks the time to harvest corn, and is called the Full Corn Moon. It is often the Harvest Moon as well, which refers to the full moon that lies closest to the autumn equinox.
October – Full Hunter’s Moon
October is the time of year when animals are fattening up for winter. Native Americans would depend on this, and hunt during this time for food stores for winter. Because of this, the October full moon is referred to as the Full Hunters Moon, and sometimes the Full Blood Moon.
November – Full Beaver Moon
In November, beavers start actively preparing for winter. This increase in activity made November a prime hunting month for beaver, primarily for pelts to keep warm during the long winter. For these reasons, many tribes refer to the November full moon as the Full Beaver Moon.
December – Full Cold Moon
December is the month with the longest and darkest hours, lending it’s full moon the name, the Full Cold Moon. Sometimes, the December full moon is also called the last moon before the Yule.