Strawberry moon lighting up New Zealand Skies

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Have you noticed the moon lately?

Since last Monday evening a Strawberry Moon has been lighting up the sky across New Zealand.

Nasa says currently the Moon will appear about 14% bigger and around 30% brighter than a normal moon.

Currently, we are having what is known as a Strawberry moon. But why do full moons have a different name and why is this one called a Strawberry Moon? Read on to find out!

Why do the monthly full moons have names?

Throughout history people have used the Moon, and the light it reflects, for different tasks – like hunting, planting and harvesting.

Cultures across the world give these full moons different names to fit with what was happening in the month. You can find out all their different names below.

The modern calendar doesn’t quite follow the Moon’s phases so sometimes there’s more than one full moon a month. This is called a Blue Moon.

What are the names of the monthly full moons?

January: Wolf Moon

Native Americans and Medieval Europeans called this moon a Wolf Moon, it’s thought to be because wolves howled more at this time of year as there was less food.

February: Snow Moon

The snowy weather of February in North America led to the name Snow Moon. Other common names include Storm Moon and Hunger Moon.

March: Worm Moon

The Worm Moon appears in March at the end of winter when little creatures like worms start squirming out of the ground. It’s also called Milk Moon.

April: Pink Moon
Pink Moon was named after phlox flowers.

Disappointingly the Pink Moon isn’t actually pink. It’s named by native Americans after pink flowers called wild ground phlox, which bloom in early spring and appear throughout the United States and Canada.

It is also called Egg Moon and Fish Moon in other cultures.

May: Flower Moon

May’s spring flowers are the reason for this month’s name.

Other names include the Hare Moon, the Corn Planting Moon, and the Milk Moon.

June: Strawberry Moon

Native American Algonquin tribes named this moon the Strawberry Moon. This is because they would harvest strawberries during this time.

It’s also called the Honey Moon, Rose Moon and Mead Moon.

July: Buck Moon
The Buck moon is in July and is sometimes known as the thunder moon

This is the time when a buck, which is a male deer, grows its full antlers. This moon is also called Thunder Moon after the summer thunder storms.

August: Sturgeon Moon

Tribes in North America caught sturgeon, a type of fish, around this time.

It is sometimes called a Grain Moon.

September: Corn Moon

If it is the nearest full moon to the autumnal equinox it is called the Harvest Moon instead.

September’s full moon is probably called Corn Moon because that’s when crops are gathered at the end of the summer season.

At this time, the Moon appears particularly bright so farmers could continue harvesting into the night.

October: Hunter’s Moon

This is the time when people would plan for the winter months and hunt animals for food.

Like September’s moon it is sometimes called the Harvest Moon.

In 2020 October’s first full moon was a Harvest Moon and the second a Blue Moon.

November: Beaver Moon
A full November Beaver Moon rising above the top of Glastonbury Tor

Beavers often start building their dams about this time which is where it got its name. It is sometimes called Frost Moon.

December: Cold Moon

The winter chill gave December’s full moon the name Cold Moon. Other names include the Long Night Moon and the Oak Moon.

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