July Moon Is the Buck Moon
The full moon in July is called the Buck Moon. We figured it was worth it to found out why and surprisingly enough it gets the name Buck Moon because this is about the time new antlers emerge from a buck’s head. Other names are also Thunder Moon, Hay Moon, and Wort Moon.
In ancient times, it was common to track the changing seasons by following the lunar month rather than the solar year, which the 12 months in our modern calendar are based on. Giving specific names to a full moon made it easier to know what part of the year it was and also helpful to know what was needed to be done.
For millennia, people across Europe, as well as Native American tribes, named the months after features they associated with the Northern Hemisphere seasons, and many of these names throughout the world are very similar or even identical.
Full Moon Names
Today, we use many of these ancient names as full moon names. A common explanation is that colonial Americans adopted many of the Native American names and incorporated them into the modern calendar.
However, it seems that it is a combination of Native American, Anglo-Saxon, and Germanic names which gave birth to the names commonly used for the full moon today.
Some years have 13 full moons, which makes one of them a Blue Moon, as it doesn’t quite fit in with the traditional full moon naming system. However, this is not the only definition of a Blue Moon but does explain the expression ‘every once in a blue moon’.
Thunderstorms and Hay Harvest
Another name for the July full moon is Thunder Moon because of the frequent thunderstorms in the summer. The Anglo-Saxon name is either Hay Moon, after the hay harvest that takes place in July, or Wort Moon, indicating that July is the time to gather herbs (worts) to dry and use as spices and remedies.