Tales of the February Moon

by Feb 26, 2021

Full moons have long inspired tales of mystery and change. It evokes thoughts of werewolves, intrigue and general craziness.

The spectacular moonrise tonight had us trying to remember the name of the full moon in February. The moon will actually reach its full peak in the early morning hours of tomorrow morning ( 4:19 A.M. AST to be precise). I will not likely be watching the moon at that time but had a pretty amazing show watching it rise over the horizon this evening. I didn’t manage to capture a shot this time.

Getting back to the original question, what is the name of the full moon of February? Well, a Google search quickly provided me with that information, and much more.

The word lunatic stems from the Latin “luna” meaning moon, with the “atic” suffix meaning “of the kind of”, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The OED says the word originally referred to a kind of insanity supposedly dependent on the phases of the moon.

Facts and myths

  • According to the Old Farmers Almanac, the February full moon is most commonly known as the Snow Moon because February is typically a time of heavy snowfall. It is also known by other names including Bald Eagle Moon, Bear Moon, Groundhog Moon or Raccoon Moon. Most full names come from names used by First Nations peoples. (In the southern hemisphere, the Feb. full moon is called Sturgeon Moon)
  • According to Cindy Day, a full moon is considered unlucky if it occurs on a Sunday but lucky on Monday (Moon-day!) at least according to Grandma!
  • Generally, there are 12 full moons in one year corresponding to each month. But, sometimes there are 13 full moons in a calendar year (like in the year 2020). In that case, the additional full moon is known as the blue moon.

The image provides details for each Full Moon of 2021, including their popular names, whether they are a ‘super’ or ‘micro’ Moon, a perigee or apogee Full Moon, and whether they are remarkable in some other way (Blue Moon or Harvest Moon). Credit: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio/Scott Sutherland

Read more about the full moons in 2021 at Space.com 2021 Full Moon Calendar

Mary Elizabeth O'Toole

Mary Elizabeth O'Toole

Educator, Artist, Storyteller


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