Francisco Medina

The moon will be full Friday, Nov. 3. There are many colloquial names for the full moon each month, many of which I often mention in this column.

According to the Farmers’ Almanac, Native Americans of the northern and eastern part of North America keep track of the seasons by naming the recurring full moons and their months: January, wolf moon; February, snow moon; March, worm moon; April, pink moon; May, flower moon; June, strawberry moon; July, buck moon; August, sturgeon moon; September, harvest moon; October, hunter’s moon; November, beaver moon; December cold moon or long nights moon. Because the lunar month is only 29 days, the full moon dates constantly shift from year to year.

The full-moon names actually vary depending on the Native American tribe. Moreover, the colonial Americans had a list of full-moon names, such as planter’s moon (April) or Christmas moon (December). The Chinese also had many interesting names for full moons like peony moon (April), lotus moon (June), chrysanthemum moon (September) and bitter moon (December).

The list of names for full moons is almost endless, because most cultures ancient and modern have given the full moon several names. A somewhat more modern example is the blue moon, which is the third of four full moons in a season or the second full moon in a month. These many names show how important the moon is to all of us from agricultural and hunting points of view, and also from cultural points of view.

Contact Tim Hunter at skyspy@tucson.com