The Names of the Moons.

Old almanacs in England used a series of poetic names to refer to each moon of the year. This began with the "Moon after Yule", the name given to the first full moon after the winter solstice, and finished with the "Moon before Yule", the last full moon before the following winter solstice. There are twelve full moons in most years, which means that three full moons occur during most seasons. One season in ten, however, contains four full moons; the third moon that occurs in such a season is called a "blue moon" (I note that this is not the only definition of the term "blue moon" that is now in common use).

The final quarter of 2010 is an example of a season that contains a blue moon, as the term is used in this article. The ninth full moon of that year follows the autumn equinox by a little more than six hours; it is the first full moon following the autumn equinox, so it is termed the "Harvest Moon" of 2010. The twelfth full moon precedes the winter solstice by just over 15 hours, so it is unavoidably termed the "Moon Before Yule". The close proximity of the times of the ninth and the twelfth full moons of 2010 to the times of the equinox and solstice, respectively, leaves room in the season for an 'extra' moon. This is the "Blue Moon" that falls on November 21st.

The names of the moons, and the dates on which they are full, appear below for the years 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016. All times are expressed as Universal Time (UT). This article presents only one set of lunar names: those which were popular in England between the 17th and 19th centuries. Other systems have been in use at other times and in other parts of the world.

Source of times of all phenomena during 2004 to 2016: The Astronomical Almanac (London, The Stationery Office).

Source of times of all phenomena during 2017: XEphem version 3.7 (Elwood Downey, Clear Sky Institute, Inc., 2005).



Moons of 2004 (Back to top of article)

Winter Solstice: December 22, 07:04 (2003)
0 Moon After Yule January 7, 15:40
1 Wolf Moon February 6, 08:47
2 Lenten Moon March 6, 23:14

Spring Equinox: March 20, 06:49
3 Egg Moon April 5, 11:03
4 Milk Moon May 4, 20:33
5 Flower Moon June 3, 04:20

Summer Solstice: June 21, 00:57
6 Hay Moon July 2, 11:09
7 Grain Moon July 31, 18:05
8 Fruit Moon August 30, 02:22

Autumn Equinox: September 22, 16:30
9 Harvest Moon September 28, 13:09
10 Hunter's Moon October 28, 03:07
11 Moon Before Yule November 26, 20:07


Moons of 2005 (Back to top of article)

Winter Solstice: December 21, 12:42 (2004)
0 Moon After Yule December 26, 15:06 (2004)
1 Wolf Moon January 25, 10:32
2 Lenten Moon February 24, 04:54

Spring Equinox: March 20, 12:33
3 Egg Moon March 25, 20:58
4 Milk Moon April 24, 10:06
5 Flower Moon May 23, 20:18

Summer Solstice: June 21, 06:46
6 Hay Moon June 22, 04:14
7 Grain Moon July 21, 11:00
8 Blue Moon August 19, 17:53
9 Fruit Moon September 18, 02:01

Autumn Equinox: September 22, 22:23
10 Harvest Moon October 17, 12:14
11 Hunter's Moon November 16, 00:57
12 Moon Before Yule December 15, 16:15


Moons of 2006 (Back to top of article)

Winter Solstice: December 21, 18:35 (2005)
0 Moon After Yule January 14, 09:48
1 Wolf Moon February 13, 04:44
2 Lenten Moon March 14, 23:35

Spring Equinox: March 20, 18:26
3 Egg Moon April 13, 16:40
4 Milk Moon May 13, 06:51
5 Flower Moon June 11, 18:03

Summer Solstice: June 21, 12:26
6 Hay Moon July 11, 03:02
7 Grain Moon August 9, 10:54
8 Fruit Moon September 7, 18:42

Autumn Equinox: September 23, 04:03
9 Harvest Moon October 7, 03:13
10 Hunter's Moon November 5, 12:58
11 Moon Before Yule December 5, 00:25


Moons of 2007 (Back to top of article)

Winter Solstice: December 22, 00:22 (2006)
0 Moon After Yule January 3, 13:57
1 Wolf Moon February 2, 05:45
2 Lenten Moon March 3, 23:17

Spring Equinox: March 21, 0:07
3 Egg Moon April 2, 17:15
4 Milk Moon May 2, 10:09
5 Flower Moon June 1, 1:04

Summer Solstice: June 21, 18:06
6 Hay Moon June 30, 13:49
7 Grain Moon July 30, 0:48
8 Fruit Moon August 28, 10:35

Autumn Equinox: September 23, 09:50
9 Harvest Moon September 26, 19:45
10 Hunter's Moon October 26, 04:52
11 Moon Before Yule November 24, 14:30


Moons of 2008 (Back to top of article)

Winter Solstice: December 22, 06:08 (2007)
0 Moon After Yule December 24, 01:16 (2007)
1 Wolf Moon January 22, 13:35
2 Lenten Moon February 21,03:30

Spring Equinox: March 20, 05:48
3 Egg Moon March 21, 18:40
4 Milk Moon April 20, 10:25
5 Blue Moon May 20, 02:11
6 Flower Moon June 18, 17:30

Summer Solstice: June 20, 23:59
7 Hay Moon July 18, 07:59
8 Grain Moon August 16, 21:16
9 Fruit Moon September 15, 09:13

Autumn Equinox: September 22, 15:44
10 Harvest Moon October 14, 20:02
11 Hunter's Moon November 13, 06:17
12 Moon Before Yule December 12, 16:37


Moons of 2009 (Back to top of article)

Winter Solstice: December 21, 12:04 (2008)
0 Moon After Yule January 11, 03:27
1 Wolf Moon February 9, 14:49
2 Lenten Moon March 11, 02:38

Spring Equinox: March 20, 11:44
3 Egg Moon April 9, 14:56
4 Milk Moon May 9, 04:01
5 Flower Moon June 7, 18:12

Summer Solstice: June 21, 05:46
6 Hay Moon July 7, 09:21
7 Grain Moon August 6, 00:55
8 Fruit Moon September 4, 16:03

Autumn Equinox: September 22, 21:19
9 Harvest Moon October 4, 06:10
10 Hunter's Moon November 2, 19:14
11 Moon Before Yule December 2, 07:30


Moons of 2010 (Back to top of article)

Winter Solstice: December 21, 17:47 (2009)
0 Moon After Yule December 31, 19:13 (2009)
1 Wolf Moon January 30, 06:18
2 Lenten Moon February 28, 16:38

Spring Equinox: March 20, 17:32
3 Egg Moon March 30, 02:25
4 Milk Moon April 28, 12:18
5 Flower Moon May 27, 23:07

Summer Solstice: June 21, 11:28
6 Hay Moon June 26, 11:30
7 Grain Moon July 26, 01:37
8 Fruit Moon August 24, 17:05

Autumn Equinox: September 23, 03:09
9 Harvest Moon September 23, 09:17
10 Hunter's Moon October 23, 01:37
11 Blue Moon November 21, 17:27
12 Moon Before Yule December 21, 08:13


Moons of 2011 (Back to top of article)

Winter Solstice: December 21, 23:38 (2010)
0 Moon After Yule January 19, 21:21
1 Wolf Moon February 18, 08:36
2 Lenten Moon March 19, 18:10

Spring Equinox: March 20, 23:21
3 Egg Moon April 18, 02:44
4 Milk Moon May 17, 11:09
5 Flower Moon June 15, 20:14

Summer Solstice: June 21, 17:16
6 Hay Moon July 15, 06:40
7 Grain Moon August 13, 18:57
8 Fruit Moon September 12, 09:27

Autumn Equinox: September 23, 09:05
9 Harvest Moon October 12, 02:06
10 Hunter's Moon November 10, 20:16
11 Moon Before Yule December 10, 14:36


Moons of 2012 (Back to top of article)

Winter Solstice: December 22, 05:30 (2011)
0 Moon After Yule January 9, 07:30
1 Wolf Moon February 7, 21:54
2 Lenten Moon March 8, 09:39

Spring Equinox: March 20, 05:14
3 Egg Moon April 6, 19:19
4 Milk Moon May 6, 03:35
5 Flower Moon June 4, 11:12

Summer Solstice: June 20, 23:09
6 Hay Moon July 3, 18:52
7 Grain Moon August 2, 03:27
8 Fruit Moon August 31, 13:58

Autumn Equinox: September 22, 14:49
9 Harvest Moon September 30, 03:19
10 Hunter's Moon October 29, 19:49
11 Moon Before Yule November 28, 14:46


Moons of 2013 (Back to top of article)

Winter Solstice: December 21, 11:12 (2012)
0 Moon After Yule December 28, 10:21 (2012)
1 Wolf Moon January 27, 04:38
2 Lenten Moon February 25, 20:26

Spring Equinox: March 20, 11:02
3 Egg Moon March 27, 09:27
4 Milk Moon April 25, 19:57
5 Flower Moon May 25, 04:25

Summer Solstice: June 21, 05:04
6 Hay Moon June 23, 11:32
7 Grain Moon July 22, 18:16
8 Blue Moon August 21, 01:45
9 Fruit Moon September 19, 11:13

Autumn Equinox: September 22, 20:44
10 Harvest Moon October 18, 23:38
11 Hunter's Moon November 17, 15:16
12 Moon Before Yule December 17, 09:28


Moons of 2014 (Back to top of article)

Winter Solstice: December 21, 17:11 (2013)
0 Moon After Yule January 16, 04:52
1 Wolf Moon February 14, 23:53
2 Lenten Moon March 16, 17:08

Spring Equinox: March 20, 16:57
3 Egg Moon April 15, 07:42
4 Milk Moon May 14, 19:16
5 Flower Moon June 13, 04:11

Summer Solstice: June 21, 10:51
6 Hay Moon July 12, 11:25
7 Grain Moon August 10, 18:09
8 Fruit Moon September 9, 01:38

Autumn Equinox: September 23, 02:29
9 Harvest Moon October 8, 10:51
10 Hunter's Moon November 6, 22:23
11 Moon Before Yule December 6, 12:27


Moons of 2015 (Back to top of article)

Winter Solstice: December 21, 23:03 (2014)
0 Moon After Yule January 5, 04:53
1 Wolf Moon February 3, 23:09
2 Lenten Moon March 5, 18:05

Spring Equinox: March 20, 22:45
3 Egg Moon April 4, 12:06
4 Milk Moon May 4, 03:42
5 Flower Moon June 2, 16:19

Summer Solstice: June 21, 16:38
6 Hay Moon July 2, 02:20
7 Grain Moon July 31, 10:43
8 Fruit Moon August 29, 18:35

Autumn Equinox: September 23, 08:21
9 Harvest Moon September 28, 02:50
10 Hunter's Moon October 27, 12:05
11 Moon Before Yule November 25, 22:44


Moons of 2016 (Back to top of article)

Winter Solstice: December 22, 04:48 (2015)
0 Moon After Yule December 25, 11:11 (2015)
1 Wolf Moon January 24, 01:46
2 Lenten Moon February 22, 18:20

Spring Equinox: March 20, 04:30
3 Egg Moon March 23, 12:01
4 Milk Moon April 22, 05:24
5 Blue Moon May 21, 21:14
6 Flower Moon June 20, 11:02

Summer Solstice: June 20, 22:34
7 Hay Moon July 19, 22:57
8 Grain Moon August 18, 09:27
9 Fruit Moon September 16, 19:05

Autumn Equinox: September 22, 14:21
10 Harvest Moon October 16, 04:23
11 Hunter's Moon November 14, 13:52
12 Moon Before Yule December 14, 00:06


Moons of 2017 (Back to top of article)

Winter Solstice: December 21, 10:44 (2016)
0 Moon After Yule January 12
1 Wolf Moon February 11
2 Lenten Moon March 12

Stephen Boyle, University of London Observatory, University College London (e-mail: sjb at ulo.ucl.ac.uk)
Date of first version of this article: 2004.
Date of latest modification of this article: 5th January 2016.
Copyright © 2016 Stephen Boyle.