Sunday, December 31, 2006

There are a number of traditional names for the full moons of each year. Most of these are taken from those given them by the Algonquin language group tribes of the northeastern part of North America, but some labels were given by the early European settlers. What follows is a list of the traditional "Moons" for 2007. All times refer to the maximum fullness of the moon and are given in either EST(Eastern Standard Time) or EDT (Eastern Daylight Time). The time of these events would be 1 hour earlier here in Winnipeg in the Central Time Zone. The full moons mentioned would be quite visible at other times on the dates mentioned.
A. Jan. 3rd 8:57 am EST: The Full Wolf Moon. Also known as the 'Old Moon' and the 'Moon After Yule'. Some tribes referred to this as the 'Full Snow Moon' though most applied this to the next moon. Named obviously for the howling hungry wolves outside the villages.
B.Feb 2nd 12:45 am EST: The Full Snow Moon. This is usually the month of the heaviest snows in NE North America. This made hunting quite difficult, and some tribes referred to this moon as the 'Full Hunger Moon'.
C. March 3rd 6:17pm EST: The Full Worm Moon. This is the month when the ground softens and earthworm casts first appear in the North East (though not here in Winnipeg). Further north the tribes knew this as the 'Full Crow Moon' when increasing cawing signals the coming end of winter. It was also known as the 'Full Crust Moon' for the fact that freeze/thaw cycles cause the snow to become more crusted at this time of year. Another name for it is the 'Full Sap Moon' when the same freeze/thaw cycle makes it possible to begin tapping maple trees.
On this night there will be a total lunar eclipse visible from the eastern USA.
D.April 2nd 1:15 pm EDT. The Full Pink Moon, named for the colour of ground phlox, one of the earliest flowers of spring in the East. There are a number of other native names for this Moon, including the 'Full Sprouting Grass Moon', the'Egg Moon' and, amongst coastal tribes the 'Full Fish Moon' when shad came upstream to spawn. The settlers referred to this as the 'Paschal Moon', and the first Sunday after this Moon is the traditional date of Easter in the Gregorian calender. This will be Sunday, April 8th, this year.
E.May 2nd 6:09 am EDT. The Full Flower Moon. Also known as the 'Full Corn Planting Moon' or the 'Milk Moon'.
F. May 31st 9:04 pm EDT. The Blue Moon. This is the title of the second full moon that occurs within a given calender month. Despite the implication of rarity this actually occurs on the average about every 3rd year.
G. June 30th 9:49 am EDT. The Full Strawberry Moon. Europeans called it the 'Rose Moon'.
H. July 29th 8:48 pm EDT. The Full Buck Moon. The usual time when the new antlers of bucks appear on their foreheads. It was also known as the 'Full Thunder Moon' because of the frequency of thunderstorms this time of year, and the 'Full Hay Moon'.
I. Aug 28th 6:35 am EDT. The Full Sturgeon Moon when the fish of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain are most easily caught. Other names include the 'Full Red Moon', 'The Green Corn Moon' and the 'Grain Moon'.
Another total lunar eclipse will occur with this Moon, best visible in the west of the continent as the moon will be setting in the East.
J. Sept 26th 3:45 pm. The Full Harvest Moon. Always named for the full moon occurring closest to the fall equinox
K. Oct.26th 12:52 am EDT. The Full Hunters' Moon. The moon will be at perigee (its closest approach to Earth in a year) this day at 7:00 am EDT, and very high tides can be expected (not a concern out here on the prairies).
L. Nov 24th 9:30 am EST. The Full Beaver Moon. Good time to catch beaver. Also known as the 'Frosty Moon'.
M. Dec 23rd 2:51 am EST. The Full Cold Moon. Also known as the 'Full Long Nights Moon'. The Europeans often referred to it as 'The Moon Before Yule'.

For those interested in observation of the moon Space.Com has a Skywatcher's Guide to the Moon that gives the timing of the various moon phases, a downloadable map of the Moon, and much more items to look for through binoculars or a telescope.

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