By Trine Nordeng

Throughout time many different cultures have held the moon in reverence. It governs the ebb and flow of the tides, the womenís monthly cycle, and other things we donít notice anymore in our modern lives. Many even chose to divide the year into lunar months. And so the full moon became very important, and different cultures chose to give each full moon in the year a name. Though the names were often slightly different in each area or community, these are the names most commonly used in some cultures.

Colonial American
Celtic 1
Celtic 2
Medieval England
Neo Pagan
January Winter Quite Storm Holiday Wolf Cold Cooking Wolf Ice
February Trapper's Ice Chaste Budding Snow Boney Little Famine Storm Snow
March Fish Winds Seed Sleepy Sap Windy Big Famine Chaste Death
April Planter's Growing Hare Peony Seed Flower Wildcat Seed Awakening
May Milk Bright Dyan Dragon Flower Planting Panther Hare Grass
June Rose Horse's Mead Lotus Strawberry Green Corn Windy Dyan Planting
July Summer Claiming Corn Hungary Buck Ripe Corn Crane Mead Rose
August Dog's Day Dispute Barley Harvest Sturgeon Fruit Women's Corn Lightening
September Harvest Singing Blood Chrysanthemum Corn Nut Mulberry Barley Harvest
October Hunter's Harvest Snow Kindly Raven Harvest Blackberry Blood Blood
November Beaver Dark Oak White Hunter's Trading Sassafras Snow Tree
December Christmas Cold Wolf Bitter Cold Snow Peach Oak Long Night

* = Native American Indian

Dakotah Sioux
Old Farmer's Almanac
January Of the Terrible Great Spirit Moon Wolf (or Old, Moon after Yule)
February Of the Raccoon, Moon When Trees Pop Sucker Spawning Moon Snow Moon (or Hunger Moon)
March When Eyes Are Sore from Bright Snow Of the Crust on the Snow Worm Moon (or Crow, Crust, Sugar, Sap Moon)
April When Geese Return in Scattered Formation Sap Running Moon Pink (or Sprouting Grass, Egg, Fish Moon)
May When Leaves Are Green, Moon To Plant Budding Moon Flower (or Corn Planting, Milk Moon)
June When June Berries Are Ripe Strawberry Moon Strawberry (or Rose, Hot Moon)
July Of the Middle Summer Middle of Summer Moon Buck (or Thunder, Hay Moon)
August When All Things Ripen Rice-Making Moon Sturgeon (or Red, Green Corn Moon)
September When The Calves Grow Hair Leaves Turning Moon Harvest (or Corn, Barley Moon)
October When Quilling and Beading is Done Falling Leaves Moon Hunters (or Travel, Dying Grass Moon)
November When Horns Are Broken Off Ice Flowing Moon Beaver (or Frost Moon)
December Twelfth Moon Little Spirit Moon Cold Moon (or Long Nights, Moon before Yule)
* The Harvest Moon is always the full Moon closest to the autumnal equinox. If the Harvest Moon occurs in October, the September full Moon is usually called the Corn Moon.

Blue Moon
The meaning of this expression have changed quite a bit through the years, but today we think of a blue moon as the second full moon in a month that has two full moons. I have so far not found any information on how other cultures dealt with the fact that every two years or so there was an extra full moon in the year.

Contact the author Trine Nordeng