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What All The 12 Full Moons of 2024 Are Referred to as And Their Meanings

What All The 12 Full Moons of 2024 Are Referred to as And Their Meanings

Before the advent of scientific methods and empirical studies, people studied the phases of the moon to understand seasons and months and even keep track of time. As a result, the Native Americans began assigning names to the full moons, which were rooted in folklore or signified the seasonal cycles. These names were recorded by the annual periodical Old Farmer’s Almanac, which started documenting them in the 1930s. These 12 full moon names have interesting histories and continue to hold significance in today’s astrological and astronomical studies.

Although full moons are commonly named after Native American traditions and practices, their Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, medieval English and Neo-Pagan names are also popular. While North American tribes from present-day northern and eastern US followed their customs, Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior also maintained a somewhat uniform naming pattern among themselves. On the other hand, European settlers arrived with their nomenclature for the 12 full moons.

What led to the 12 full Moon names

While some might be named after agricultural patterns, like the September Corn Moon or the Strawberry Moon in June, some are christened after animal behaviours, such as the November Beaver Moon or the Wolf Moon in January.

Certain names for the moon are based on its appearance and timing, such as the Supermoon, which happens when a full moon is at the perigee (the point of closest proximity to the Earth). Similarly, the Blue Moon comes about once every 2 to 2.5 years, marking the occurrence of two full moons within a single month. This happens due to the 29.5-day lunar cycle, occasionally resulting in two full moons in any one of the months with 31 days.

Whatever the name, for observers on the Earth, every full moon is a beautiful sight of sky theatrics as the night shimmers in the soft glow of the natural satellite. Each of the 12 full moons in a lunar calendar has its own cultural significance across the world and also affects the zodiac signs in different ways.

So, the next time you are under a full moon sky, keep our list of moon names handy to identify the full moon name and understand what it means.

All the 12 full moon names and what they mean

January 2024 — Full Wolf Moon

full moon names - wolf moon
Image: Courtesy Grégoire Bertaud/ @sirtook/ Unsplash

This is the first full moon of the year. This Moon occurs at the peak of winter and is marked by howling wolves in North America, leading the tribes to name it after the phenomenon.

It is alternatively called the Old Moon or the Moon After Yule. Some tribes refer to it as the Full Snow Moon, though many reserve it for the following full moon.

The full Wolf Moon has great significance in Anglo-Saxon culture, where January is called Wulf Monath or Wolf Month. In Gaelic, it is known as the Severe Moon or Hard Moon owing to the harsh wintry nights of the period.

February 2024 — Full Snow Moon

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the full moon occurring in February is called the Snow Moon. It is named after the heavy snow that North America receives during this time.

Since hunting activities became extremely difficult in such adverse climates, some tribes named it the Hunger Moon and the Storm Moon.

March 2024 — Full Worm Moon

As the winter snow begins to thaw in North America, it is now time for the burrowed worms to make their way out, leading to one of the most unique titles among the 12 full moon names.

The full Worm Moon also goes by Full Crow Moon among certain tribes from the northeastern US as the cawing birds herald the end of winter. Some also call it the Full Crust Moon because of a crusted snow cover due to thawing during the day and freezing by night. The Full Sap Moon is another moniker given to the Worm Moon as it marks the time to tap the maple trees for sap.

In the Christian tradition, this full moon is termed the Paschal Moon due to its significance as the first full moon of spring following the spring equinox.

April 2024 — Full Pink Moon

full moon names- pink moon
Image: Courtesy uomo libero/ @uomo_libero/ Unsplash

In case you are wondering whether the April full moon appears pink in the sky, unfortunately, it doesn’t. According to a NASA report, the Maine Farmer’s Almanac gave this moniker to signify the advent of spring, which is marked by the rampant growth of herb moss, a pink wildflower in the eastern US. It is also known as creeping phlox, moss phlox, or mountain phlox.

The Pink Moon also goes by many other names among various indigenous tribes in North America. Breaking Ice Moon (Algonquin), Moon When the Streams Are Again Navigable (Dakota), Budding Moon of Plants and Shrubs (Tlingit) and Moon of the Red Grass Appearing (Oglala) are some of the names given by the tribal communities living across the US and Canada.

Some names have also originated from animal movements and their activities, such as Moon When the Ducks Come Back (Lakota), Moon When the Geese Lay Eggs (Dakota), Frog Moon (Cree) and Sucker Moon (Anishinaabe), referring to the harvest of Suckerfish.

Full Sprouting Grass Moon, Egg Moon, Moon of Blackberry, Moon of the Big Leaves, New Shoots Moon, Seed Moon and Growing Moon are some of the other names of the April Moon depicting harvest and growth.

May 2024 — Flower Moon

With spring setting in full swing, this is the time of abundant blooming. This blossoming time brings about the name Flower Moon to the full moon in May, states the Royal Museums Greenwich. Certain animals become active during this time, signalling warmer weather ahead, which adds to the full moon names —Egg Laying Moon, Frog Moon and the Oglala tribe’s term Moon of the Shedding Ponies.

In some cultures, it is dubbed the Dragon Moon, Milk Moon, Hare Moon, Corn Planting Moon and Frost Moon as well.

June 2024 — Strawberry Moon

Observers may not be able to see a red strawberry-shaped Moon in the night sky as the nomenclature has harvesting and cultural symbolisms. This is the strawberry harvesting time in North America, which gives the full moon its name.

The members of the Haida indigenous group refer to it as the Berries Ripen Moon, while Anishinaabe term it as the Blooming Moon, indicative of the flowering season. Similarly, the Cherokee call it the Green Corn Moon, while the Western Abenaki refer to it as the Hoer Moon, both emphasising growth and ripening harvest imageries.

According to the Royal Museums Greenwich, the Strawberry Moon is also known as the Rose Moon among Europeans.

July 2024 — Buck Moon

full moon names- buck moon
Image: Courtesy Yuya Yoshioka/ @superyuyakun/ Unsplash

To the Native Americans, male deer (called buck) were characterised by their huge antlers. Despite shedding them the rest of the year, these antlers are in full glory during this time, resulting in one of the most unique monikers among the 12 full moon names.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac mentions Feather Moulting Moon (Cree) and Salmon Moon (Tinglit) as other monikers. With regard to plants and the stormy weather, Hay Moon, Berry Moon (Anishinaabe), Month of the Ripe Corn Moon (Cherokee), Thunder Moon and Halfway Summer Moon are popular aliases as well.

August 2024 — Sturgeon Moon

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the Native Americans residing around the Great Lake region dubbed the August full moon as the Sturgeon Moon after the freshwater fish which abounded during this time.

It is called the Flying Up Moon among the Cree, as it marks the time when birdlings learn to fly for the first time. In Anglo-Saxon culture, it is called Corn Moon, Black Cherries Moon, Rising Moon and Grain Moon, while the Chinese call it the Harvest Moon.

The Royal Museums Greenwich states that the Red Moon is another name given to the August full moon after the light reddish tinge it gets during the summer haze.

September 2024 — Full Corn Moon

The September full moon is called the Full Corn Moon, as it is the time of natural abundance and marks the season to gather corn at the end of summer. This full moon is also usually the closest to the autumnal equinox and is also known as the Harvest Moon.

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The Harvest Moon rises early and sets late to allow farmers enough light to finish harvesting the crops. However, if the October full moon falls closest to the equinox, then that becomes the Harvest Moon.

Falling Leaves Moon, Barley Moon, Child Moon, Corn Maker Moon and Yellow Leaf Moon are some of the other full moon names used for September.

October 2024 — Hunter’s Moon

full moon names- hunter moon
Image: Courtesy Gary Fultz/ @garyfultz/ Unsplash

Marking the beginning of the hunting season, the Native Americans call the October full moon Hunter’s Moon. The Moon shines brightly, giving hunters a clearer view above the vegetation to hunt for animals.

And, as mentioned earlier, when the full moon occurs closest to the autumn equinox, it takes up the name of Harvest Moon. Some other names include Travel Moon and the Drying Grass Moon.

November 2024 — Beaver Moon

The Native Americans named this full moon the Beaver Moon as the semi-aquatic rodents build their lodges and fill them with food for the harsh winters ahead.

As stated in the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the Beaver Moon goes by Freezing Moon for the Anishinaabe and Passamaquoddy people and the Heading To Winter Moon for the Comanche people. Frost Moon, Freezing Moon and Whitefish Moon are its other monikers.

December 2024 — Cold Moon

As December heralds the cold and harsh winters, the full moon in this month is called the Cold Moon. The Long Night Moon, Oak Moon and Snow Moon are some of the other names associated with the full lunar phase in December.

Since it coincides with the Christmas festival, the full moon is also known as the Moon Before Yule.

(Hero and feature image: Courtesy Griffin Wooldridge/ @dzngriffin/ Unsplash)

The story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

-What is the second name of a full moon?
A full moon is one of the eight lunar phases. The Almanac states many names given to each of the full moons, such as Beaver Moon for November, Sturgeon for September and Cold Moon for December.

-What are the Indian names for the full moons?
Some Indian names for full moons include Magh Purnima, Vasant Purnima and Dol Purnima.

-What is the rarest moon?
Blue Moons and Supermoons are some of the rarest celestial events.

Source: Prestige Online

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