While the turkey is in the oven and the pies are being assembled, the Full Beaver Moon will be on the rise. This year, November’s full moon will appear in the sky on Thanksgiving Day, November 22nd, meaning the moon and our stomachs will have a lot in common. It’s almost like a special treat for us from the cosmos.
The Full Beaver Moon will actually be at its fullest at 12:39 a.m. EST on November 23rd. But if you’re not looking to stay up that late after gorging on sweet potato pie and cornbread, those in most North American time zones will be able to see the moon’s full shape as soon as it gets dark on the 22nd—that is, if you can waddle yourself outside after dinner.
Native American tribespeople gave each month’s full moon a distinct name to help keep track of the seasons. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the Algonquin tribespeople of the Northeast were responsible for naming November’s full moon the Beaver Moon. They did so because it was during this time of year that beaver traps were set before the swamps froze over in preparation to supply the tribe with beaver pelts for the winter months.
Other tribes in North America referred to November’s full moon as the Full Frost Moon, most likely because November usually brings in the first frost of the winter season.
Those in the Southern Hemisphere will know November’s full moon as the Corn Moon, Milk Moon, Flower Moon, or Hare Moon, according to EarthSky.org. These names reflect the goings-on in the Southern Hemisphere’s spring season, which begins on September 1st and lasts until November 30th.
To us Northerners, having the “winter” holidays occur in the spring and summer is a trippy thought.
So while you’re digging into your Thanksgiving feast, you can school your family with some Full Beaver Moon facts. We can’t guarantee that the crossover of the full moon and Thanksgiving won’t cause a time warp back to the 1600s. In any case, enjoy and acknowledge its presence.