The Names and Dates of the Full Moons in 2002


Have you ever noticed how the full moon always seems to catch your eye? The American Indian also had a special relationship with each moon. Indian tribes used the full moon to keep track of the seasons by giving a distinctive name to each recurring full moon. The moons were named by the events of the particular season.

Since the New Year is just beginning, I thought I would share the dates and some of the American Indian names and stories about the full moons of 2002.

January 28th will usher in the first full moon of the year. Known as the Wolf Moon, it got its name from the hungry packs of wolves roaming for prey at this time of deep winter. The Ponca Indians called this moon the Old Moon and Snow Thaws Moon.

The Full Snow or Storm Moon occurs on February 27. This Algonquin name was given to mark the blizzards known to hit at this time of the year. Other tribes referred to the February moon as the Hunger Moon. During this time, the snow had accumulated and many of the stored food provisions had been consumed.

March 28th hosts the Full Worm Moon. The ground has thawed and earthworms appear after the rainstorms. The maple tree sap gets tapped this time of the year so the March moon might have been known as the Sap Moon. The Kiowa Indians knew it as the Crow Moon or the Bud Moon.

The Full Pink Moon on April 26 gets its name from the color of the springtime wildflowers that are now in bloom. The Apache Indians saw the prairie grass being reborn and starting to grow once again and so they named it the Sprouting Grass Moon and the Moon of the Big Leaves.

By May, the cattle are producing plenty of milk and even more flowers are blooming. The May 26 moon is called the Full Milk Moon or the Full Flower Moon. Some Indians knew the May moon as the Corn Planting Moon.

Even though the full moon in June doesn’t appear until the 24th, this moon is declared as the Rose or Strawberry Moon. Roses begin to bloom in early June and the strawberries are also ripe for the picking. The Arapaho called the moon in June the Honey Moon or the Hot Weather Moon.

The American Indian noted the fierce storms of July as the Full Thunder Moon when the sky lit up with its powerful energy. The Full Buck Moon signifies that male deer are growing a full set of velvety antlers late in July. The Omaha Indian tribe named the July 24 moon the Bellowing Buffalo Moon.

With the abundance of sturgeon in the Great Lakes, the Full Sturgeon Moon will be shining brightly on August 22. The Full Ripe Moon refers to the summer fruits that now begin to ripen and the Green Corn Moon signals that the young corn is beginning to appear on the stalks.

The full moon nearest to the autumnal equinox is called the Harvest Moon and in 2002, it occurs on September 21. This is a very bright and large moon, which is good for harvesting crops in the moonlit evening hours.

October’s Full Hunter’s Moon is defined as the first full moon following the Harvest Moon. The Native Americans would often hunt deer under this bright moon preparing for the long winter that waited. The October 21st moon is also known as the Yellow Leaf Moon, Big Feast Moon and the Dying Grass Moon.

Beavers are busy building their winter homes during the month of November and so the name of the November 19th moon is known as the Full Beaver Moon. The Kiowa Indians gave it the name Frost Moon.

The Hopi Indians referred to the December moon as the Cold Moon. The full moon on December 19 is also called the Long Nights Moon. Winter once again returns and the shortest days of the year are upon us at the Winter Solstice.

Now you have before you an entire list of the names and dates of the full moons for the year 2002.You might want to note the names of the moon on a calendar you recently hung for the New Year. Maybe you ‘ll start a new tradition and give each full moon a name of your own to remind you of the events of the passing seasons. No matter what, the full moon shines brightly each month to bring delight to those of you who take the time to look up in the night sky. Don’t let it pass you by!

Happy New Year and happy stargazing!