September 20, 2005

Completely Useless Lunar Trivia


As I was driving home last evening, I watched the waxing moon rising over the tops of the trees. This will be the full moon nearest the Autumn Equinox (September 22 this year), and is therefor called the Harvest Moon. I've always known about that one, plus the Hunter's Moon, which comes next. I've also known that all the other full moons have one or more traditional names, but other than Honey Moon, could not remember any more of them.

Well, thanks to the Internet, that knowledge gap has been filled. Here you go:

January - Old Moon, Moon after Yule, Storm Moon

February - Hunger Moon, Snow Moon, Chaste Moon, Wolf Moon

March - Crow Moon, Lenten Moon, Sap Moon, Seed Moon

April - Egg Moon, Grass Moon, Hare Moon

May - Planter's Moon, Milk Moon

June - Flower Moon, Rose Moon, Strawberry Moon, Honey Moon

July - Hay Moon, Thunder Moon, Ripe Corn Moon

August - Grain Moon, Green Corn Moon, Barley Moon, Fruit Moon

September - Harvest Moon, Blood Moon, Fruit Moon

October - Hunter's Moon

November - Beaver Moon, Frosty Moon

December - Yule Moon

I love the obvious agricultural and meteorological roots of most of these names. And the expression "Hunger Moon" is a rather chilling reminder of just how close to the subsistence line the people were who coined the term. In fact, all of the names of the February moon indicate that it's a pretty nasty time of the year. ("Wolf Moon" does not mean, "time to go on that Sierra Club Bonding-With-Our-Misunderstood-Lupine-Siblings weekend outing.")

The Blue Moon, by the way, is the second full moon that occurs in any month. It doesn't happen very often, hence the expression "Once in a Blue Moon".

Thought you might like to know.

UPDATE: JohnL corrects me, stating that the moon was full a few days ago and is now waning again. My bad. This is what comes of sneaking off to Lothlorien - I always lose track. (Honestly, I head home about dusk these days and simply don't remember seeing the moon rise.)

Posted by Robert at September 20, 2005 08:44 AM | TrackBack

Full moon was three days ago, so we are in the waning gibbous phase of the moon right now...

Posted by: JohnL at September 20, 2005 10:27 AM

Robbo, any idea if the "Beaver Moon" is going to have any effect on my wife's hormones this Thanksgiving season? If ya know what I mean...nudge, nudge, wink, wink...say no more?

Posted by: Gary at September 20, 2005 10:31 AM

Thanks for mooning us.

Posted by: gail at September 20, 2005 12:36 PM


Posted by: Robbo the LB at September 20, 2005 12:44 PM

Truly a lunatic posting.

Posted by: rbj at September 20, 2005 12:54 PM

And way back in 1903 over 100 years ago a frenchman made a real early sci fi film A TRIP TO THE MOON and the weird fact is whan JULES VERN wrote FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON his fictioanl rocket blated off from florida and spashed down in the pacific> AND THEN THERES THE BLUEMOON

Posted by: spurwing plover at September 24, 2005 04:58 PM