The February full snow moon will be illuminating the sky this weekend.
The snow moon will reach its peak illumination on Sunday, according to the Farmer’s Almanac.
The Almanac cited the National Weather Service in saying that February is the snowiest month in the U.S.
“In the 1760s, Captain Jonathan Carver, who had visited with the Naudowessie (Dakota), 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 Almanac stated.
Though the snow moon is so named due to the month’s typically heavy snowfall, it also goes by names that have a connection to animals and oftentimes come from Native Americans, the Almanac says.
For instance, the Cree called it the Eagle Moon, while the Ojibwe and Tlingit called it the Bear Moon and Black Bear Moon, respectively, since bear cubs are born during this time.
Other names were derived from the perspective of scarcity, including the Bony Moon and Hungry Moon, both of which originated with the Cherokee since “food was hard to come by at this time,” the Almanac says.
Incidentally, February’s rarest full moon is called the Black Moon, which occurs when there appears to be no full moon at all. This happens once every five to 10 years, according to the Almanac, and can occur during other months as well.
Here’s a look at when the 2023 full moons will take place:
- Feb. 5
- March 7
- April 5
- May 5
- June 3
- July 3
- Aug. 1
- Aug. 30
- Sept. 29
- Oct. 28
- Nov. 27
- Dec. 26
The March full moon is the final full moon of winter. It’s called the Worm Moon, since earthworms start to appear in the soil in spring.