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Full Moon Names and their Historical Meanings

Ever wonder how that Full Hunter’s Moon received its name?

Each full moon name has a meaning and a significance to our seasons.

We have followed the moon ever since we discovered it moved in the sky. We have used it to plan agricultural harvests and to determine times to hunt for thousands of years. Some cultures use the moon as a basis for their calendar, rather than using the sun.

Many might not know this, but each month’s full moon has a name. Each name is based on the history of that full moon through the thousands of years and cultures that have tracked it.

Full Moon Names and Agriculture

In The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare wrote: “The moon shines bright. In such a night as this. When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees and they did make no noise, in such a night.” He may have been picturing a night in September, which often has a Full Harvest Moon that rises shortly after sunset, shining extra light on a beautiful evening.

The Harvest Moon, also known as the Full Corn Moon, is probably the most well-known among full moon names. It has historically been known to give farmers more hours to harvest as its shine helped to light the fields well into the night. It also refers to the autumn equinox, which usually falls on the 21st of September or in the case of 2018, it fell on the 22nd. During this time, the moon is closer to the Earth and appears brighter.

There are other months and full moons that refer to agriculture. For instance, the full moon name for June is the Full Strawberry Moon. Originally, it was named the Full Hot Moon, as it marked the start of the summer heat. Over time, the increased harvesting of strawberries during this month earned it the name change.

October’s full moon, called the Full Hunter’s Moon, marks exactly that. It is in October when deer fattened in the summer and foxes are easier to harvest. Like September, the Full Hunter’s Moon is bright and stays long in the dark sky, giving fall season hunters longer to hunt and more visibility.

Other Full Moon Names and their Significance

The Full Blue Moon, for example, is one name that its origin is not really known. A Blue Moon is a 13th full moon in one calendar year. It happens because the moon’s cycle is 11 days fewer than the Earth’s orbit around the sun and is an infrequent occurrence, only appearing every two to three years. You might be asking yourself, “How many full moons are there in 2018?” Well, it just so happens that this year we will have 13 full moons— two of them blue moons— which is quite rare.

The full moon in November— the Full Beaver Moon—has a few stories on the origin of its name. Some say it marked a time when Native Americans were most successful hunting beavers, while others say it marks the time that beavers build dams. At one point, it may have been referred to as the Frost Moon, but that name is no longer used.

There are months like December where the cold wintry skies rule, making the full moon in December, the Full Cold Moon, aptly named. It’s appearance in the sky signifies the coming winter months.

List of all full moon names:

  • January: Full Wolf Moon
  • February: Full Snow Moon
  • March: Full Worm Moon
  • April: Full Pink Moon
  • May: Full Flower Moon
  • June: Full Strawberry Moon
  • July: Full Buck Moon
  • August: Full Sturgeon Moon
  • September: Full Harvest Moon
  • October: Full Hunter’s Moon
  • November: Full Beaver Moon
  • December: Full Cold Moon

Leverage the Value of Your Ag Land

With many of our nation’s farmers harvesting fall crops and working long into the night under the Full Harvest Moon and the Full Hunter’s Moon, we understand what it takes to be a successful agribusiness. If you have a question or are looking for ways to leverage the value of your ag land, call us today. Our team of ag lending professionals is here to help you find the right agricultural financing solutions that will foster a successful operation for many moons to come.

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