Folknamesforfullmoons
Western Astrology

Folk Names for Full Moons

by Donna Woodwell August 12, 2013 08:02 PM EST
Folk Names for Full Moons Getty Images

Once upon a time, humanity kept time by the phases of the Moon. "Month" even comes from the word "Moon". Full Moons were named after the qualities of (or events occurring in) the time of year during which they occurred, thus keeping us in tune with the cycle of seasons.

The common folk names for Moons originated from the daily experiences of Native American tribes in the northeast. We also might follow in their tradition and devise contemporary names for the monthly full Moons.


April 15, 2014: Pink Moon
The Pink Moon is named after the pink phlox, first flowers of spring. Some tribes also named it the Sprouting Grass Moon or the Egg Moon. We might favor the Easter Moon, the Earth Day Moon, or the Prom Moon. (We might also call it the Tax Moon, but it may not catch on so well!)

May 14, 2014: Flower Moon
May's flowers also lent their name to this Moon. It was also called the Planting Moon for sowing the seeds for the summer crop. Mom's Moon would be an appropriate tribute for Mother's Day, or Soldier's Moon, for Memorial Day.

June 13, 2014: Strawberry Moon
Strawberries ripen across the Northeast in June, giving this Moon its name. It was known to Europeans as the Rose Moon, Bright Moon or the Hare Moon. Our start of summer rituals might lend their names to June's Moon -- Dad's Moon, Graduation Moon or Wedding Moon.

July 22, 2014: Thunder Moon 
Summer thunderstorms raced across the July skies, and this Moon was named for them. Other folk names included the Buck Moon, for the new antlers appearing on buck deer, or the Hay Moon, for when hay fields were harvested. Today's Americans might call this the Fireworks Moon, the Vacation Moon -- or the Air-Conditioning Moon!

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