This article was contributed by community member David Baumgartner as part of a local series on astronomy.
For some reason, humans feel that they have to name everything around them. And when they do, they seem to always exaggerate, whether it is with the size, color or whatever. It never seems to look natural to me.
Have you ever seen a Red Breasted Robin? I haven’t. Though I have seen an Orange Breasted Robin. So how about a Blue Moon? I have been viewing the moon all my life, and have yet to glance upon one that was blue.
So the name “Moon” or “Satellite” just wasn’t good enough for our Earth’s little partner, we needed to give it more names. How about if we give the moon a different name for each month? Well, too late, that has already been done.
There are many traditional names for the Full Moons of each month of the year. It is doubtful that they have much meaning in our society today, except for the “Harvest Moon,” for September, and “Hunter’s Moon” for October, and the more popular “Blue Moon,” which we have already figured out isn’t really blue.
So, for your interest only, or for those crossword puzzle enthusiasts, here are the monthly Full Moon names:
January: Old Moon, or Moon after Yule. Yule is Christmas.
February: Snow Moon, Hunger Moon, or Wolf Moon
March: Sap Moon, Crow Moon, or Lenten Moon
April: Grass Moon, Egg Moon, Easter Moon, or Paschal Moon
May: Planting Moon or Milk Moon
June: Rose Moon, Flower Moon, or Strawberry Moon
July: Thunder Moon or Hay Moon
August: Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon
September: Fruit Moon or Harvest Moon
October: Hunter’s Moon
November: Frosty Moon or Beaver Moon, probably because beavers are active in preparation for winter.
December: Moon before Yule or Long Night Moon, a name appropriate because the midwinter night is long and the moon is above the horizon a long time.
Well, there you are. Very interesting for what it’s worth. Go out and spread the word. Maybe we need to give that a name too.
Other articles in this series: