The Full Moon in January is called the Wolf Moon. It is named after the hungry packs of wolves that howled at night.
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Windows to the Universe original artwork by Randy Russell.
The Many Names for the Full Moon
Sometimes, in the fall, you may hear people call a Full
Moon the "Harvest
Moon". That's because farmers can stay in their fields late, after sunset,
harvesting their crops by the bright light of a Full Moon. Did you know that
there are special names for the Full Moon during each month of the year?
The names for the Full Moon were made up by the Algonquian tribes of Native
Americans. Most of the Algonquian people hunted and fished to get food, but some
also grew crops. The names they had for the Moon are related to nature &
the seasons, hunting & fishing,
and farming. The Algonquian people lived all over the northern
eastern parts of North America. When settlers from
some of the settlers
started using most of the same names for the Full Moon.
The table below lists the names the Algonquian people used for the Full
Moon during different months of the year.
||Why that name?
||Hungry wolf packs howled at night
||Heaviest snowfalls in the middle of winter
||Start of spring, as earthworms (and the robins that eat them!) began
||An early spring flower called "moss
pink" started to bloom
||Many types of flowers bloom in May
||Strawberries were ready to be picked and eaten
New antlers of buck deer, coated with velvety fur, began to form
||Sturgeon, a large fish found in the Great Lakes, were easily caught at
this time of year
||Farmers could continue harvesting until after sunset by the light
of the Harvest Moon
||Hunters tracked and killed prey by moonlight, stockpiling food for the
Time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to make sure of
a supply of warm winter furs
||The cold of winter sets in
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