Did you know full moons have specific names? By the way, what’s a full moon and how many full moons do we have in a given year? Yes, we are not scientist and we know very little about scienctific things, but we all were taught in school that a full moon occurs when the Moon, the Earth and the Sun are in the same line, with the Earth in between the Sun and the Moon. This allows us to see the entire disc of the moon illuminated in reflected sunlight.
2016 will have 12 full moons, some years have 13 because the full moon phase occurs every 29.53 days. Below is a guide to the full moons of 2016 with their specific names according to the Native Americans, who attributed certain terms to each month’s full moon based on seasonal factors.
Wolf moon may also be referred to as the Old Moon, Ice Moon or the Moon after Yule. It is said that this moon gets its name from the packs of wolves that would howl from hunger during the month of January.
The second month’s full moon is named Snow Moon because snow tends to be heaviest during this month of the year. February’s full moon is also sometimes called the Hunger Moon because of the difficult hunting conditions during this month because of the snow.
This is the time when snow melts and earthworms begin to surface, and because of this, March’s full moon is called the Worm Moon. March’s full moon is also known as Sap Moon due to the running of sap and tapping of trees that begins this time of year. This full moon may also be called Crow Moon as birds become active around this time.
Pink Moon gets its name from the one of the first flowering plants to bloom during spring, Pink phlox. This full moon is also known by other names such as Fish Moon and Sprouting Grass Moon, terms that refer to the abundances of springtime.
Flower Moon, like the Pink Moon, is named for blooming plants. This full moon is also known by names like Corn Planting Moon and the Milk Moon.
This full moon is named so because fruits, especially strawberries, are harvested this time of year. This month may also be called the Rose Moon (in Europe) or the Hot Moon (due to the high temperatures).
July’s full moon is called Buck Moon because male deer or bucks sprout new antlers during this time of year. This full moon is also sometimes called the Thunder Moon or Hay Moon.
August’s full moon is named so because it’s the prime time for sturgeon fishing in the Great Lakes neighborhood (the angling waters of the Algonquin). Other names of this full moon include Full Red Moon, Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon.
September’s full moon is named for the strong light the moon gives off, allowing farmers to harvest crops late into the night. It is the full moon that occurs closest to equinox in the fall. This full moon can be in either September or October, and in 2016 it will be in September. This full moon may also be called the Corn Moon or Barley Moon, as those crops are harvested at this time of year.
It’s during October’s full moon that fall sets in and crops have been harvested, and so it’s time for hunting. Like the Harvest Moon, this is a particularly bright moon, and allows hunters to find prey during the night. This full moon may also be called the Dying Grass Moon or the Travel Moon.
November’s full moon is named after the bounty that beavers had to offer. Like the Hunter’s Moon, the name of this full moon has to do with trapping animals for food and supplies. This full moon may also be called the Frosty Moon due to dropping temperatures.
December’s full moon is the final moon of the calendar year and is called the Cold Moon, named for the long nights and frigid temperatures associated with the heart of winter. This moon might also be referred to as the Oak Moon or the Moon Before Yule. The Cold Moon of 2015 occurred on Christmas for the first time since 1977. The next full moon on Christmas will be in 2034.