Last week when we announced the results of our first Full Moon contest., we received a comment taking us to task for changing yet another tradition. I love history and I immerse myself in tradition as much as any one does. Maybe I need to better explain what we are trying to accomplish. Here is my response:
I share your sense for the past and want to assure you I am not looking to “replace” the names but to add new ones that relate to what we do today. The Full Moon names were given by Native Americans as a way to connect their lives to the Moon and what was happening each month. Different tribes had different names so there is no one name for each Full Moon although we generally use the same list each year. . There are many names for each month. For example, in April we usually refer to this Moon as the Full Pink Moon but here is a more full description of names for a couple months.
– Full Pink Moon – April This name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month’s celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.
The Full Buck Moon – July July is normally the month when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. It was also often called the Full Thunder Moon, for the reason that thunderstorms are most frequent during this time. Another name for this month’s Moon was the Full Hay Moon
Last fall, I was asked why we did not have Full Moon names that relate to what we do today. Since people hundreds of years ago created their own names and because there are multiple names for each month depending upon who named, it, I felt that it might be interesting to see what names we might apply to our Full Moons in the 21st Century.
Let me assure you that we are not trying to do aware with history. But, if people hundreds of years ago could name a moon, then I think we can at least add an additional name that might be important to us as we live and enjoy the grandeur of the Full Moons in 2009/ 2010.
A complete list of all Full Moon names (including alternatives) can be found at http://www.farmersalmanac.com/full-moon-names. We are currently accepting suggestions for the November Full Moon.