As the snowiest month in the United States, February’s full moon is commonly known as the Full Snow Moon in Native American cultures. These ancient tribes named this moon after the way trees cracked in the cold or how people had to sit shoulder to shoulder around the fire for warmth. Even the Celts called it the Moon of Ice. As expected of the coldest month in the year, the Full Snow Moon is also known by more sinister names, such as the Bone Moon. The Cherokee tribe called February’s full moon the Bone Moon because, by this point, the tribe’s winter food supplies had usually dwindled to the point where people had to gnaw on bones and cook bone marrow soup in order to survive. For the same reason, the Kalapuya tribe called this moon the Out of Food Moon. Appropriately, it’s also known as the Hunger Moon and the Little Famine Moon. Perhaps, due to this month’s association with death, the Cherokee tribe would commune with their dead ancestors during the Bone Moon. A didanawiskawi, or a medicine person, would host a medicine dance for the community. Fasting and rituals for the dead were also common practices.
However, not all cultures associate February’s full moon with extreme cold and death. The Hopi tribe calls it the Moon of Purification and Renewal, which is very fitting because the Full Snow Moon is usually the very first full moon of the year according to the lunar calendar. Cultures that follow the lunar calendar, especially East Asian cultures, tend to associate the Full Snow Moon with new beginnings for this very reason. The ancient Chinese, for example, called it the Budding Moon. As a matter of fact, celebrations of February’s full moon are the climax of Lunar New Year festivities in various East Asian countries. In China, the Full Snow Moon is celebrated during the Lantern Festival, also known as the Yuanxiao Festival, which is the 15th day of the Lunar New Year. During this festival, the Chinese release kongming lanterns into the sky as they admire the full moon and eat tangyuan, glutinous rice balls that are usually filled with sweet paste. The round shape of the balls symbolize family togetherness and bring good luck to the whole family.
Many East Asian cultures in general also light lanterns and bonfires to celebrate February’s full moon. According to an ancient Chinese legend, not long after Buddhism was brought into China, 17 deities were witnessed flying through the sky during the first full moon of the Lunar New Year. Shocked and excited, the populace lit fires and lanterns to see the godly beings better. They continued to do so year after year but, for more practical reasons – to chase away pests and to pray for a good crop in the upcoming spring. In Korea, where February’s full moon is known as Daeboreum, these fiery structures are called “Houses of the Burning Moon”. During Daeboreum, Koreans hike mountains, despite the freezing temperatures, in order to catch a glimpse of the first rise of the first full moon of the Lunar New Year. According to legend, the very first person to accomplish this feat will have their dearest wish come true.
From Farmers’ Almanac:
Among the Micmac people of eastern Canada, the driving winds that often accompany February snows led to the name Snow-Blinding Moon. Because this month’s typically harsh weather conditions made hunting very difficult, other common names for February’s Moon included the Hunger Moon, Bony Moon, and Little Famine Moon. To the early American colonists, the optimal time for trapping beaver, fox and mink was the dead of winter when these animals’ coats were at their fullest. So, to them, February’s moon was known as the Trapper’s Moon.
From a Wiccan site I stumbled across while ‘Googling’ (or ‘Binging’) a particular name, additional names not listed above are Storm Moon, Horning Moon, Wild Moon, Red & Cleansing Moon, Quickening Moon, Big Winter Moon, Moon When Trees Pop and Chaste Moon. And, there is quite an extensive list of Native American moons on Skywise Unlimited.
100% illumination will occur at 10:53am EST.
Howl for me! ~Vic
Today was Living History Day. I didn’t make it to the festivities but, my buddy Ray did. The weather was just too damp for me and I was busy with other things. He graciously provided me with copies to post and four short video clips.
This area (a five county span) was a hotbed of struggle during the War of the Regulation, the Battle of Alamance, the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Guilford Court House, the Civil War and was the site of the last & largest Confederate Surrender. We, collectively, have seen a lot.
We also have a lot of actors and reenactments. Some of the uniforms and gear are quite impressive. Hopefully, I will make it next year.
Ray had a little trouble keeping his filming steady. Overcast skies can interfere with viewing ability. Apologies.
I’ve been digging around in some old images on my computer. There was a rash of cube farm/office humor that circulated on emails back in the middle 2000s. They may have eventually made it to Facebook but, I don’t remember seeing these. Anyway, I thought I would share some silliness. These were labeled “Cutbacks” and someone went to a lot of trouble for the detail. I will hit you up with some more next Friday. They are not mine and I have no idea where they originated from.
The below is now Part Six of the final Seven Part Series showcasing my former supervisor’s work and, additional photos taken of him at various stages of his life and career. The above picture of Big Bend National Park, I never got to see while I was living in Texas. It’s a big state and there is a lot to see. I confess that I spent a rather large amount of time traveling back and forth, between the Austin area and the Houston area, as I had a very dear friend and classmate living in Spring. Texas will always be my second home.
The following three pictures, he sent to me on November 17, 2008. I have no idea when or where these were taken but, they were his friends and they requested his expertise.
That is all I have of the pictures he took. Everything forward will be of him.
Last post, tomorrow. ~Vic