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.
|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.
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