How did the moon get its name

Night sky The full moon in January is wolf moon

Old German names for the monthly full moons

The February full moon has many nicknames in German: dew and melting moon were common names, but also storm and hunger moon. Another name is Hornung. Exactly where the name comes from is controversial. One possible answer: deer are shedding more of their antlers this month.

The spring moon appears in March. Lenz is an old German word for spring. The April full moon is named after the Christian festival of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection: the Easter moon. The happy moon probably goes back to cattle breeding, because in May the cattle were driven to the pastures. In any case, most of the monthly full moons were closely related to agriculture.

The "fallow moon" is due to the three-field economy. In the Middle Ages it belonged to a widespread form of cultivation. The acreage was divided into three parts. One of these fields was "fallow" for a year and was therefore only used as pasture. Since haymaking begins in Europe in July, its full moon was also known as the hay moon. The harvest took place in August, hence the nickname Harvest Moon. Since the grape harvest traditionally takes place in October, our ancestors came up with the name Weinmond.

But a month earlier there was the autumn moon. In addition to September, November and December were also given moon names corresponding to the season. Due to the increased fog in November, the name Nebelmond was born. In December it was the cold moon, although July moon was also common. He was referring to the pagan Yule festival of the winter solstice. So every full moon had its own name - some are still used today. It has nothing to do with astronomy, the science of the stars.