The Anglo-Saxon Lunar Calendar

Anglo-Saxon/Old English Lunar Calendar

The Anglo-Saxon lunar calendar differs from other lunar calendars in that it names the full moons according to the season or month in which they occur. For example, the first full moon following Yule (the winter solstice) may be the Yule Moon, the first one following the vernal equinox may be the Egg Moon, and the one prior to that the Lenten Moon. The Harvest Moon, can be the full moon nearest to the autumnal equinox. In my calendar, however, the Harvest Moon is the last full moon of summer. The full list of full moon names that I have chosen to use is shown below, arranged by season, winter, spring, summer and autumn. These conform roughly with those stated in this Wikipedia article with a few exceptions.

Full Moon Name Date Range
Winter
Yule Moon Dec-Jan
Snow Moon Jan-Feb
Lenten Moon Feb-Mar
Spring
Egg Moon Mar-Apr
Milk Moon Apr-May
Flower Moon May-Jun
Summer
Hay Moon Jun-Jul
Grain Moon Jul-Aug
Harvest Moon Aug-Sep
Autumn
Hunter’s Moon Sep-Oct
Blood Moon Oct-Nov
Moon Before Yule Nov-Dec

Every now and then a season has four full moons instead of three. One of these “extra” full moons is designated as a “Blue Moon”, and because certain full moons must occur in certain places, e.g. the Lenten Moon must always precede the Egg Moon and the Moon Before Yule must precede the Yule Moon, the third full moon in every seaoson that has four is designated the Blue Moon.

This table shows the names and dates of the full moons for the years 2008 to 2011.

Moon 2008 2009 2010 2011
After Yule Moon 24 Dec 2007 11 Jan 2009 31 Dec 2009 19 Jan 2011
Snow Moon 22 Jan 2008 9 Feb 2009 30 Jan 2010 18 Feb 2011
Lenten Moon 21 Feb 2008 11 Mar 2009 28 Feb 2010 19 Mar 2011
Egg Moon 21 Mar 2008 9 Apr 2009 30 Mar 2010 18 Apr 2011
Milk Moon 20 Apr 2008 9 May 2009 28 Apr 2010 17 May 2011
(Blue Moon) 20 May 2008
Flower Moon 18 Jun 2008 7 Jun 2009 27 May 2010 15 Jun 2011
Hay Moon 18 Jul 2008 7 Jul 2009 26 Jun 2010 15 Jul 2011
Grain Moon 16 Aug 2008 6 Aug 2009 26 Jul 2010 13 Aug 2011
Harvest Moon 15 Sep 2008 4 Sep 2009 24 Aug 2010 12 Sep 2011
Hunter’s Moon 14 Oct 2008 4 Oct 2009 23 Sep 2010 12 Oct 2011
Blood Moon 13 Nov 2008 2 Nov 2009 23 Oct 2010 10 Nov 2011
(Blue Moon) 21 Nov 2010
Before Yule Moon 12 Dec 2008 2 Dec 2009 21 Dec 2010 10 Dec 2011

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