It’s official, October’s full moon will now be named the “Pumpkin Moon.”
Thanks to many of you and others, thousands of www.FarmerAlmanac.com Web visitors voted to select the new name for October’s Full Moon — which will be here on Sunday, October 4.
The winning name was submitted by William Culver, of Princess Anne, Md. Culver was the first of 22 people to suggest some variation of the name “full pumpkin moon.” He will win a free 2011 Farmers’ Almanac, and his name and winning entry will be published in the almanac and on www.farmersalmanac.com
Every year, the Farmers’ Almanac publishes the traditional names for each month’s full moon. These names, such as “Wolf Moon,” “Corn Moon” and “Sturgeon Moon,” date back to Native Americans who lived in what is now the northeastern United States.The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full Moon. Each moon name was applied to the entire month in which it occurred.
Though there was some variation among the moon names used by various tribes, in general, the same ones were used by the Algonquin tribes whose territory stretched from New England to Lake Superior. When the European settlers arrived, they adopted the custom, and also created some of their own names. Since a lunar month is only 29 days long, on the average, the full Moon dates shift from year to year.
October’s traditional name is “Hunter’s Moon,” though this year’s October moon has the distinction of being the “Harvest Moon,” because it falls closest to the autumn equinox.
Last year, while we were doing media interviews to promote the 2009 Farmers’ Almanac, someone asked us why we don’t update the full moon names. The question had honestly never occurred to us before, and we thought, Why not? After all, most of the names we use are centuries old. Shouldn’t we have names that reflect the realities of life in the 21st Century?
We decided to give readers the opportunity to create their own folklore by participating in an exciting contest to choose new names for each month’s full moon.
Now that October’s new full moon name has been chosen, what will November’s be? Submissions will be taken from now through October 13, then on the 15th, the top four will placed on the site for you and others to vote on. Be sure to suggest a name or two and vote.