Full Moon Names 2024: Traditional Moon Names | The Old Farmer's Almanac

Full Moon Names for 2024

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Infographic depicting the twelve types of full moons, with accompanying allegorical imagery

A Guide to Traditional Full Moon Names and Their Meanings

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Across time, full Moons were used to track the seasons. It was a method of timekeeping. The full Moons were often given special names that reflected nature’s signs. Learn more about the names for each full Moon of the year—and what they mean. 

Where Do Moon Names Come From?

The Moon names we use in The Old Farmer’s Almanac come from Native American, Colonial American, or other traditional North American sources passed down through generations. For example, the name of January’s Wolf Moon is not a traditional Native American name; it is thought to have English origins and was brought to North America by European settlers. 

the old farmers almanac full moon names and illustrations
Traditional names of each full Moon. Created by Colleen Quinnell/The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Note that for Native American names, each Moon name was traditionally applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred, the month starting either with the new Moon or full Moon. Also, the name of the lunar month might vary each year or between bands or other groups within the same nation.

Some names listed here may reflect usage at once in history but may no longer be used by a designated group today. Many of the names listed here are English interpretations of the words used in Native American languages. They are only roughly aligned here with the months of the Gregorian calendar; you’ll notice that some names are repeated in multiple months.

Click on the linked names below for our monthly Full Moon Guides, and see our Full Moon Calendar to find out the date of the next full Moon!

Moon Names by Month
MonthNameDescriptionAlternative Names
JanuaryFull Wolf MoonThe howling of wolves was often heard at this time of year. Many sources state that wolves howled due to hunger. Rather, wolves use howls to define territory, locate pack members, reinforce social bonds, and gather for hunting.• Canada Goose Moon (Tlingit)
• Center Moon (Assiniboine)
• Cold Moon (Cree)
• Freeze Up Moon (Algonquin)
• Frost Exploding Moon (Cree)
• Great Moon (Cree)
• Greetings Moon (Western Abenaki)
• Hard Moon (Dakota)
• Severe Moon (Dakota)
• Spirit Moon (Ojibwe)
FebruaryFull Snow MoonFebruary is typically a time of heavy snowfall.• Bald Eagle Moon (Cree)
• Bear Moon (Ojibwe)
• Black Bear Moon (Tlingit)
• Month of the Bony Moon (Cherokee)
• Eagle Moon (Cree)
• Goose Moon (Haida)
• Groundhog Moon (Algonquin)
• Hungry Moon (Cherokee)
• Raccoon Moon (Dakota)
MarchFull Worm MoonTraditionally thought to be named after the earthworms of warming spring soil. Alternatively, in the late 1700s, Jonathan Carver wrote that this Moon actually refers to a different sort of “worm”—larvae—which emerge from the bark of trees and other winter hideouts around this time.• Crow Comes Back Moon (Northern Ojibwe)
• Eagle Moon (Cree)
• Goose Moon (Algonquin, Cree)
• Snow Crust Moon (Anishinaabe)
• Sore Eyes Moon (Dakota, Lakota, Assiniboine)
• Sugar Moon (Ojibwe)
• Wind Strong Moon (Pueblo)
AprilFull Pink MoonThis full Moon heralded the appearance of the “moss pink,” or wild ground phlox—one of the first spring wildflowers.• Breaking Ice Moon (Algonquin)
• Broken Snowshoe Moon (Anishinaabe)
• Budding Moon of Plants and Shrubs (Tlingit)
• Frog Moon (Cree)
• Moon of the Red Grass Appearing (Oglala)
• Moon When the Ducks Come Back (Lakota)
• Moon When the Geese Lay Eggs (Dakota)
• Moon When the Streams are Again Navigable (Dakota)
• Sucker Moon (Anishinaabe)
• Sugar Maker Moon (Western Abenaki)
MayFull Flower MoonFlowers spring forth in abundance this month.• Budding Moon (Cree)
• Egg Laying Moon (Cree)
• Frog Moon (Cree)
• Leaf Budding Moon (Cree)
• Planting Moon (Dakota, Lakota)
• Moon of Shedding Ponies (Oglala)
JuneFull Strawberry MoonThis was the time to gather ripening strawberries in what is now the northeastern United States.• Berries Ripen Moon (Haida)
• Birth Moon (Tlingit)
• Blooming Moon (Anishinaabe)
• Egg Laying Moon (Cree)
• Hatching Moon (Cree)
• Green Corn Moon (Cherokee)
• Hot Moon
• Hoer Moon (Western Abenaki)
JulyFull Buck MoonNow, a buck’s (male deer’s) antlers are in full growth mode.• Berry Moon (Anishinaabe)
• Feather Moulting Moon (Cree)
• Halfway Summer Moon (Anishinaabe)
• Month of the Ripe Corn Moon (Cherokee)
• Moon When the Chokecherries are Ripe (Dakota)
• Raspberry Moon (Algonquin, Ojibwe)
• Salmon Moon (Tlingit)
• Thunder Moon (Western Abenaki)
AugustFull Sturgeon MoonThe Great Lakes and Lake Champlain sturgeon were said to be most readily caught during this full Moon.• Black Cherries Moon (Assiniboine)
• Corn Moon (Algonquin, Ojibwe)
• Flying Up Moon (Cree)
• Harvest Moon (Dakota)
• Mountain Shadows Moon (Tlingit)
• Ricing Moon (Anishinaabe)
SeptemberHarvest Moon
(or Full Corn Moon)
The Harvest Moon is the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox. In 2024, this occurs in September. 
This time also corresponds with the traditional harvesting of corn. 
• Autumn Moon (Cree)
• Child Moon (Tlingit)
• Corn Harvest Moon (Dakota)
• Corn Maker Moon (Western Abenaki)
• Falling Leaves Moon (Ojibwe)
• Harvest Moon 
• Leaves Turning Moon (Anishinaabe)
• Mating Moon (Cree)
• Moon of Brown Leaves (Lakota)
• Moon When the Rice is Laid Up to Dry (Dakota)
• Rutting Moon (Cree)
• Yellow Leaf Moon (Assiniboine)
OctoberFull Hunter’s MoonThis is the month when the game is fattened up for winter. Now is the time for hunting and laying in a store of provisions for the long months ahead.• Drying Rice Moon (Dakota)
• Falling Leaves Moon (Anishinaabe)
• Freezing Moon (Ojibwe)
• Ice Moon (Haida)
• Migrating Moon (Cree)
NovemberFull Beaver MoonThis was the time when beavers finished preparations for winter and retreated into their lodges.• Deer Rutting Moon (Dakota, Lakota)
• Digging/Scratching Moon (Tlingit)
• Freezing Moon (Anishinaabe)
• Frost Moon (Cree, Assiniboine)
• Whitefish Moon (Algonquin)
DecemberFull Cold MoonThis is the month when the winter cold fastens its grip, and the nights become long and dark.• Drift Clearing Moon (Cree)
• Frost Exploding Trees Moon (Cree)
• Hoar Frost Moon (Cree)
• Little Spirit Moon (Anishinaabe)
• Long Night Moon (Mohican)
• Mid-winter Moon (Lakota, Northern Ojibwe)
• Moon of the Popping Trees (Oglala)
• Moon When the Deer Shed Their Antlers (Dakota)
• Snow Moon (Haida, Cherokee)
• Winter Maker Moon (Western Abenaki)
*According to one tradition, which the Old Farmer’s Almanac honors, the Harvest Moon is always the full Moon that occurs closest to the September equinox. Most years, it falls in September; every three years, it falls in October. (Astronomical seasons do not match up with the lunar month.) If the Harvest Moon occurs in October, the September full Moon is usually called the Corn Moon instead. Similarly, the Hunter’s Moon always follows the Harvest Moon. (Note that these last two conditions are not according to Native American tradition.)

Why Native Americans Named the Moons

The early Native Americans did not record time using the Julian or Gregorian calendar months. Many tribes kept track of time by observing the seasons and lunar months, although there was much variability. For some tribes, the year contained four seasons and started at a particular season, such as spring or fall. Others counted five seasons to a year. Some tribes defined a year as 12 Moons, while others assigned it 13. Certain tribes that used the lunar calendar added an extra Moon every few years to keep it in sync with the seasons. 

Harvest full moon

Each tribe that did name the full or new Moons (and/or lunar months) had its own naming preferences. Some would use 12 names for the year, while others might use 5, 6, or 7; certain names might change the next year. A Moon name used by one tribe might differ from one used by another tribe for the same time period or be the same name but represent a different time period. The name was often a description relating to a particular activity/event that usually occurred in their location.

Colonial Americans adopted some of the Native American Moon names and applied them to their own calendar system (primarily Julian and, later, Gregorian); they also brought their own traditions from Europe. Since the Gregorian calendar is the system that many in North America use today, that is how we have presented the list of Moon names as a frame of reference. 

Moon Name Reference Sources

If you want to learn more, below are credible reference sources for these Full Moon Names—from Native American organizations to early American historical references. 

Other Full Moon Names

The following Moon names came into popular use more recently and do not refer to any specific month’s Moon:

  • Blue Moon: Occasionally, two full Moons occur within the same calendar month. The first full Moon goes by the name normally assigned to that month’s full Moon, but the second full Moon is commonly called a Blue Moon. Blue Moons occur about every 2½ years. Another definition for “Blue Moon” is the third full Moon in a series of four full Moons occurring in a single astronomical season.
  • Black Moon: The term “Black Moon” has a few definitions. Most commonly, it refers to the second new Moon occurring within a single calendar month; by this definition, a Black Moon can never occur in February. It has also been used to refer to a month in which there is no full Moon; this can only occur in February because the calendar month has fewer days (28 or 29 days) than the lunar month (about 29.5 days).
  • Supermoon: A full Moon is said to be a “Supermoon” when it is at the point in its orbit closest to Earth. In astronomy, the terms “perigee-syzygy” or “perigee full Moon” are typically used instead of “Supermoon.” Learn more about Supermoons.
  • Blood Moon: The term “Blood Moon” is used when there is a complete lunar eclipse. The moon isn’t actually “bloody,” but it appears orange or coppery like a penny.

When Is the Next Full Moon?

Check out our Full Moon Calendar to see when the next full Moon will happen, and see our Moon Phase Calendar to find the Moon phase for a specific date!

About The Author

Catherine Boeckmann

Catherine Boeckmann loves nature, stargazing, and gardening so it’s not surprising that she and The Old Farmer’s Almanac found each other. She leads digital content for the Almanac website, and is also a certified master gardener in the state of Indiana. Read More from Catherine Boeckmann

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