August: Sturgeon Moon
Tribes in North America typically caught Sturgeon around this time, but it is also when grain and corn were gathered so is sometimes referred to as Grain Moon.
This full moon appears in the same month as the Perseid meteor shower, which peaks on August 12 and 13, and this year, a blue moon (the third full moon in a season with four full moons), will also take place on August 22.
When? August 22
September: Harvest Moon
The Harvest Moon is the name given to the first full moon that takes place closest to the Autumn equinox, which this year falls on September 22.
It was during September that most of the crops were harvested ahead of the autumn and this moon would give light to farmers so they could carry on working longer in the evening. Some tribes also called it the Barley Moon, the Full Corn Moon or Fruit Moon.
When? September 21
October: Hunter’s Moon
As people planned ahead for the cold months ahead, October’s full moon came to signify the ideal time for hunting game, which were becoming fatter from eating falling grains. This full moon is also known as the Travel Moon and the Dying Grass Moon.
When? October 20
November: Beaver Moon
Beavers typically start building their winter dams around now, leading to this full moon moniker. It is also known as the Frost Moon as winter frosts historically began to take their toll during this time.
In 2021, the Beaver Moon will coincide with a partial lunar eclipse, otherwise known as a Half Blood Moon.
When? November 19
December: Cold Moon
Nights are long and dark and winter’s grip tightens, hence this full moon’s name. Falling in the festive season, it’s also referred to as Moon before Yule and Long Nights Moon.
When? December 19
Past 2021 full moons
January: Wolf Moon
This full moon was named because villagers used to hear packs of wolves howling in hunger around this time of the year. It’s also known as the Old Moon, Ice Moon and Snow Moon, although the latter is usually associated with February’s full moon.
When? January 28
February: Snow Moon
The Snow Moon is named after the cold white stuff because historically it’s always been the snowiest month in America. It’s also traditionally referred to as the Hunger Moon, because hunting was very difficult in snowy conditions.
When? February 27
March: Worm Moon
As temperatures warm, earthworm casts begin to appear and birds begin finding food. It also has multiple other names including the Sap Moon, Crow Moon and Crust Moon, while its Anglo Saxon name is the Lenten Moon.
The Worm Moon graces our skies in the same month as the Spring Equinox, which fell on March 20 this year.
This full moon is important because it is used to fix the date of Easter, which is always the Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox. This year’s Worm Moon is the first full moon to appear after the spring equinox, which means Easter Sunday fell one week later, on Sunday April 4.
When? March 28
April: Pink Moon
April’s full moon is known as the Pink Moon, but don’t be fooled into thinking it will turn pink. It’s actually named after pink wildflowers, which appear in North America in early spring.
It is also known as the Egg Moon, due to spring egg-laying season. Some coastal tribes referred to it as Fish Moon because it appeared at the same time as the shad swimming upstream.
The Pink Moon appears during the same month as the Lyrid meteor shower and in 2021, it was also the first super full moon of the year.
When? April 27
May: Flower Moon
Spring has officially sprung by the time May arrives, and flowers and colourful blooms dot the landscape.
This full moon is also known as Corn Planting Moon, as crops are sown in time for harvest, or Milk Moon, as May was previously known as the “Month of Three Milkings”.
In 2021, it appeared during the same month as a micro new moon, which took place on May 11 and saw the new moon at its furthest point from the Earth during its orbit.
This year’s Flower Moon was also a super full moon, appearing up to 30 per cent brighter and 14 per cent bigger to the human eye.
When? May 26