“Got your snow shovels ready? February’s full Snow Moon reaches its peak in the early morning hours of Saturday, February 27. Why is it called the full Snow Moon? Find out in our February Moon Guide!”
In the 1760s, Captain Jonathan Carver, who had visited the Naudowessie (Dakota) and others, wrote that the name used for this period was the Snow Moon, “because more snow commonly falls during this month than any other in the winter.”
The Cree called this the Bald Eagle Moon or Eagle Moon. Bear Moon (Ojibwe) and Black Bear Moon (Tlingit) refer to the time when bear cubs are born. The Dakota called this the Raccoon Moon, and certain Algonquin peoples named it the Groundhog Moon. The Haida named it Goose Moon.
The Cherokee names of “Month of the Bony Moon” and “Hungry Moon” give evidence to the fact that food was hard to come by at this time.
TRADITIONAL MOON NAMES
Historically, Native American and other traditional names for full or new Moons were used to track the seasons. The Moon names that we use in The Old Farmer’s Almanac come from Native American, Colonial American, or other traditional North American sources passed down through generations.
Note that for Native American names, each Moon name was typically applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred, the month starting either with the new Moon or full Moon. Additionally, a name for the lunar month might vary each year or between bands or other groups within the same nation.
Some names listed here may reflect usage at one time in history, but may no longer be used by a designated group today. Many of the names listed here are English interpretations of the words used in Native American languages. They are only roughly aligned here with the months of the Gregorian calendar.
Video for February’s Snow Moon, featuring Amy Nieskens