Full Beaver Moon and a Blue Moon on Sunday

Full Moon names date back to Native Americans, of what is now the northern and eastern United States. The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full Moon. Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred. There was some variation in the Moon names, but in general, the same ones were current throughout the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior. This was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Full Beaver Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now actively preparing for winter.

November full moon is a Blue Moon. It isn’t blue in color. It’s only blue in name – at least, by one definition. Sunday’s moon is the third of four full moons in a season. So many will call it a Blue Moon. In most years there will be only three full moons between the Autumnal Equinox and the December Solstice.

There is a more modern definition of Blue Moon. It’s the idea that a Blue Moon is a second full moon in a calendar month. The next Blue Moon to fit this description will come on August 31, 2012. Is one definition better or more true than the other? The great thing about folklore is that it’s whatever the folk say it is. So we all get to decide.

full beaver moon blue moon november 21 2010

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Posted by on November 19, 2010. Filed under Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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8 Responses to Full Beaver Moon and a Blue Moon on Sunday

  1. BigHarryH

    November 19, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    It was only a week since the last full moon.

  2. MH

    November 19, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    When I hear of a full beaver moon, it reminds me that I need to wax my undercarraige.

    • Holte Ender

      November 19, 2010 at 6:27 pm

      Those damn undercarriages, got to keep on top of them?

  3. Robert Douglas

    November 19, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    I’ve never heard of the expression “Beaver Moon” before. See MMA, something new ever day.

    However, I believe that “Mooning your Beaver” gets 6 – 9 moths in the pokey.

  4. Gwendolyn H. Barry

    November 20, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Enjoyable.

    Undercarriage? Um hummm. Well, you don’t want road salt sticking to it and rotting it out…. right?

  5. Anonymous

    November 20, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    A FULL BLUE BEAVER MOON AND MY BEST FRIENDS BIRTHDAY, OH MY…WE ARE IN TROUBLE HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOYCE!

  6. Anonymous

    November 20, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    I love your full moon and your beaver too! love ho.

  7. Pingback: Carpe Diem Haiku #56, Full Beaver Moon | JRB's Haiku