ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Names of the Moon

Updated on March 5, 2019
Huge moon with tree and people. Possibly a Harvest moon? Certainly a Super Moon.
Huge moon with tree and people. Possibly a Harvest moon? Certainly a Super Moon.

Super Wolf Blood Moon

The recent lunar eclipse in January 2019 was dubbed the Super Wolf Blood Moon, which made me curious about the names of different moons. I'd heard of the Harvest Moon, and a Blue moon, and maybe a Wolf Moon, but had no idea when they occurred, or what the origins were.

A little research on moon names revealed that many of them had their roots in Native American tradition, but in the UK we have our own Old English and Celtic traditions of moon names.

I was hoping for a definitive answer, but there seem to be multiple names for each moon depending on which tradition you choose to follow.

The Moon Name Calendar

Before our Julian and Gregorian Calendars were introduced, people marked out time in phases of the moons.

In modern day terms, we do have one remaining example of this; Easter Sunday falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox. Hence the date for Easter moves each year. Our ancestors would have been quite used to following the patterns of the moon, and hence celebrating 'moveable feasts.'

Each full moon was given a different name, often reflecting the season, the weather, or particular crops and animals, but as you can see from the table below, there are multiple names depending on which tradition you follow (and these are just a few).

Modern English
Quiet Moon
Wolf Moon
Old Moon
Ice Moon
Storm Moon
Wolf Moon
Wind Moon
Chaste Moon
Lenten Moon
Growing Moon
Seed Moon
Egg Moon
Bright Moon
Hare Moon
Milk Moon
Horse Moon
Dyan Moon
Flower Moon
Calm Moon
Mead Moon
Hay Moon
Moon of Dispute
Corn Moon
Grain Moon
Singing Moon
Barley Moon
Fruit Moon
Harvest Moon
Blood Moon
Harvest Moon
Dark Moon
Snow Moon
Hunter's Moon
Cold Moon
Oak Moon
Oak Moon

Some UK traditional moon names.

Why is the Harvest Moon Big and Red?

We can see from the table above, which just compares three different traditions, that there's no real consensus over moon names. Taking the Harvest Moon as an example; in general the Harvest Moon is either in September, or October, and the moon of either month can be called a Harvest Moon.

Add in Native American traditions, or Wiccan, or Neo-Pagan, and the names multiply - there really is very little consensus.

Nowadays, it's generally held that the Harvest Moon is the full moon occurring closest to the Autumn Equinox. The moon rises around sunset for several days in a row and appears low in the sky, giving the perception of being much larger than usual.

The red/orange colour is due to the blue light having been scattered at sunset, but environmental conditions can make the moon appear much redder, dust or pollution in the sky, for example. And for this reason, the Harvest Moon is sometimes called a Blood Moon just like the eclipse moon.

Super Wolf Blood Moon, Lunar Eclipse

What is a Blood Moon?

Aside from the Harvest Moon being called a Blood Moon, the name usually refers to the orange moon seen at a lunar eclipse, such as the one in January 2019, easily visible in the UK.

The lunar eclipse happens when the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon, casting its shadow over the moon. Some light from the Sun bounces through the Earth's atmosphere and is reflected on the Moon. The light wavelength is 'stretched out' and so appears red.

The eclipse in January 2019, on 20-21st in the UK, was also called a Wolf Moon, as the Wolf Moon is held to be the first full moon of the year, and super, because it appeared to be large in the sky.

When is the Next Lunar Eclipse?

The next lunar eclipse is in 2021, but won't be visible from the UK. The next full lunar eclipse here will be in ten years, in December 2029, so this one may be called a Super Blood Oak Moon.

Once in a Blue Moon?

Given the table of moon names, there isn't a Blue Moon, so where does this title fit in?

The moon becomes full every 29.5 days, so when the full moon appears at the start of the month, there is a good chance that there will be a second, Blue Moon, at the end of the month.

Hence the phrase 'Once in a blue moon,' referring to something that happens rarely.

There are no blue Moons in 2019, the next Blue Moon will fall in October 2020, they generally occur every 2-3 years.

Occasionally, as with a Blood Moon, there can be types of particulate pollution that turns the moon a bluish colour.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)