For millennia, humans have used the movement of the moon to keep track of the passing year and set schedules for hunting, planting, and harvesting. Ancient cultures the world over have given these full moons names based on the behaviour of the plants, animals, or weather during that month.
National Geographic, Reference - Full Moons
Native Americans and medieval Europeans named January's full moon after the howling of hungry wolves lamenting the midwinter paucity of food. Other names for this month's full moon include old moon and ice moon.
The typically cold, snowy weather of February in North America earned its full moon the name snow moon. Other common names include storm moon and hunger moon.
Native Americans called this last full moon of winter the worm moon after the worm trails that would appear in the newly thawed ground. Other names include chaste moon, death moon, crust moon (a reference to snow that would become crusty as it thawed during the day and froze at night), and sap moon, after the tapping of the maple trees.
Northern Native Americans call April's full moon the pink moon after a species of early blooming wildflower. In other cultures, this moon is called the sprouting grass moon, the egg moon, and the fish moon.
May's abundant blooms give its full moon the name flower moon in many cultures. Other names include the hare moon, the corn planting moon, and the milk moon.
In North America, the harvesting of strawberries in June gives that month's full moon its name. Europeans have dubbed it the rose moon, while other cultures named it the hot moon for the beginning of the summer heat.
Male deer, which shed their antlers every year, begin to regrow them in July, hence the Native American name for July's full moon. Other names include thunder moon, for the month's many summer storms, and hay moon, after the July hay harvest.
North American fishing tribes called August's full moon the sturgeon moon since the species was abundant during this month. It's also been called the green corn moon, the grain moon, and the red moon for the reddish hue it often takes on in the summer haze.
The most familiar named moon, September's harvest moon refers to the time of year after the autumn equinox when crops are gathered. It also refers to the moon's particularly bright appearance and early rise, which lets farmers continue harvesting into the night. Other names include the corn moon and the barley moon.
The first moon after the harvest moon is the hunter's moon, so named as the preferred month to hunt summer-fattened deer and fox unable to hide in now bare fields. Like the harvest moon, the hunter's moon is also particularly bright and long in the sky, giving hunters the opportunity to stalk prey at night. Other names include the travel moon and the dying grass moon.
There is disagreement over the origin of November's beaver moon name. Some say it comes from Native Americans setting beaver traps during this month, while others say the name comes from the heavy activity of beavers building their winter dams. Another name is the frost moon.