Of course, we all know what full, crescent and half moons are. But each year, November brings us a different kind of moon – the Beaver Moon! This year the Beaver, or “Frost,” Moon will be at its peak on November 4.
What do beavers have to do with the moon?
The Beaver Moon is the name given to November’s full moon by Early American Colonists and Algonquin Native America tribes. They called it this because it came at the time of year when beavers were particularly active, and the Native Americans and colonists would set traps to catch them before the swamps froze (which is where the alternative name, “Frost Moon” comes from). Beaver pelts were a necessity for making warm clothing that would last through harsh winters.
In our timezone, the Beaver Moon will occur just after midnight on November 4. 2016’s Beaver Moon was also a supermoon, meaning that it was full and at “perigee” – the minimum distance from the planet the moon reaches in its orbit. Supermoons can appear 14% larger and 30% brighter than the moon on an average night. While this year’s Beaver Moon won’t be a supermoon, it will be close! The full Beaver Moon occurs on November 4, and the moon reaches perigee on November 5.
Names for full moons in other months
We previously wrote a post about all the different moons in our solar system. While our planet only has one moon, we call it by plenty of different names!
January – Wolf Moon: Native Americans also named this full moon, in reference to the howling of wolves that they would hear outside their villages during January.
February – Snow Moon: Pretty self-explanatory, February is a snowy month!
March – Worm Moon: After the snows of February, the ground begins to thaw in March and earthworms poke through the earth.
April – Pink Moon: Warmer, rainy weather in April brings a few early spring flowers. The moon is named for one the the earliest widespread spring flowers, the herb moss pink aka wild ground phlox.
May – Flower Moon: April showers bring May flowers!
June – Strawberry Moon: This moon is named due to the fact that peak strawberry picking season occurs in June.
July – Buck Moon: July is when bucks begin to grow their antlers, thus the name “Buck Moon.”
August – Sturgeon Moon: Native American tribes that sustained themselves on fishing named this moon after the sturgeon, which are ample and readily caught in August.
September – Fruit or Harvest Moon: The Harvest moon occurs when the full moon falls closest to the autumn equinox, which can happen in either September or October. When the September moon isn’t a Harvest Moon, it is a “Fruit Moon.” Once again, this name came from Native Americans, since it marked when the time was right to harvest their corn crops.
October – Hunter’s or Harvest Moon: Every three years, the Harvest Moon occurs in October. Every other year, it is a “Hunter’s Moon” because hunters can easily ride over fields and the animals they are hunting are easier to spot.
November – Beaver Moon: Enough said!
December – Cold Moon: Obviously, this moon is named after December’s cold, winter temperatures. It can also be called a “Long Night Moon” due to winter’s extended nights.
Whew, that’s a lot of moons! But did you know that you don’t have to wait a whole month between full moons to see one? We have the largest man-made moon in the world perched right on top of the hotel. Book a stay with us to sleep under a full moon any day of the year!