Tonight there is a full moon – the Pink Moon, to be exact. Have you ever heard of the Pink Moon before? If not, do you know any of the other traditional full moon names? I know a handful by heart. When I was little, sometimes my grandparents made references to the Harvest Moon or the Blue Moon. I reckon I picked the tradition up from them.
Ancient civilizations once used moon names to help track the seasons. The ones commonly used today come from Native Americans and early European settlers. Of course, nowadays, they’re more like nicknames that each generation passes down to the next.
Most people use the names to describe the full moon itself – but like Native Americans, I apply them to the whole month. I guess I picked that up from Mamaw and Papaw too. So when I say I was born under the Strawberry Moon, I mean that I was born in June – not that there was necessarily a full moon that night.
Wondering what the other traditional full moon names are? I did some research and dropped them below. 😉
What Are the Traditional Full Moon Names?
The full moon in January is known as the Wolf Moon due to the howling of hungry wolves during winter. The name is probably of Celtic origin and came to America with European settlers.
Since February is cold and snowy, its full moon is called the Snow Moon.
In March, worms make their way to the surface after the ground thaws, which is why Native Americans dubbed this full moon the Worm Moon.
April’s full moon is called the Pink Moon in honor of the pink blossoms that appear in early spring.
Various cultures around the world agree that May is the month of flowers.
The Strawberry Moon rises in June to announce that it’s time to harvest strawberries.
Native Americans named July’s moon the Buck Moon because male deer grow antlers in mid-summer.
Sturgeon are plentiful in August, hence the Sturgeon Moon.
September has the most familiar moon name, the Harvest Moon. It’s named for the autumn harvest.
The Hunter’s Moon is named for the game that fattens up in October.
Native Americans set beaver traps during November – and so this month’s moon is called the Beaver Moon.
December’s full moon is called the Cold Moon because of the winter solstice.
Every few years, we get 13 full moons in a year. In those years, one month has double full moons. The first goes by its monthly name; the second is called the Blue Moon.