FULL moons have long been associated with myths and legends and Native Americans gave a distinctive name to the one that occurred each month.
But what exactly is October’s Harvest Moon, when’s the best time to see it and what are the other full moons called? Here’s all you need to know…
What is a Harvest Moon?
October’s full moon is known as the Harvest Moon because of it occurring at a time when crops were brought in and harvested for winter.
This year it will be at its peak on October 5 at 7.40pm.
It most commonly occurs in September, but the name is given to the full moon closest to the autumn equinox, which can fall during October once or twice every decade.
What are the other names given to full moons?
The rest of the months have also been given names.
January – Wolf Moon
January’s full moon was named for the howling of wolves that would often be heard outside Native American villages in January.
This year, the full Wolf Moon took place on January 12 at 11.33am.
February – Snow Moon
February is the month known to be the most snowy in North America.
This year, the full Snow Moon took place on February 11 at 12.32am.
March – Worm Moon
As the temperature begins to warm in March, the ground begins to thaw and earthworms begin to rear their heads.
This year, the Full Worm moon took place on March 12 at 2.53pm.
April – Pink Moon
In April, the weather is warmer and flowers start to appear.
This moon name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox – one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring.
This year, the full Pink Moon took place on April 11 at 7.08am.
May – Flower Moon
The May full moon was given this name as this is when flowers are in full bloom.
This year, the full Flower Moon took place on May 10 at 10.42pm.
June – Strawberry Moon
Strawberry picking season is at its peak in June.
This year, the full Strawberry Moon took place on June 9 at 2.09pm.
July – Buck Moon
In July, bucks begin to grow antlers covered in velvety hair.
This year, the full Buck Moon took place on July 9 at 5.06am.
August – Sturgeon Moon
Fishing tribes named the August moon for the sturgeon – as they were most readily caught during this month.
This year, the full Sturgeon Moon took place on August 7 at 7.10pm.
September – Fruit Moon or Harvest Moon
The Harvest Moon most commonly occurs in September, but the name goes to the full moon closest to the autumn equinox, which can fall during October once or twice every decade.
The name was given to the September moon by Native Americans because it marked when corn was supposed to be harvested.
This year the full Harvest Moon takes place on September 6 at 8.02am.
October – Hunter’s Moon or Harvest Moon
The name was given as hunters were able to ride easily over the fields and animals are more easily spotted.
The Harvest Moon typically falls in September, but every three years (including 2017), it falls in October.
This year, the full Harvest Moon takes place on October 5 at 7.40pm.
November – Beaver Moon
In November, beavers are busy preparing themselves for winter – and tribes would make time to set beaver traps in the hope of securing a store of warm fur.
This year, the full Beaver Moon takes place on November 4 at 5.22am.
December – Cold Moon
Needless to say, December was named after the cold, winter weather.
It is the month when winter takes a firm hold and temperatures plummet.
This moon is sometimes also called the Long Night Moon – as the winter nights are longer and the moon spends more time above the horizon opposite a low sun.
This year, the full Cold Moon takes place on December 3 at 3.46pm.
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