Full Moon 2020: When is the July Buck Moon and what is the meaning behind its name?

The seventh Full Moon of the year is traditionally known as the Buck Moon, Hay Moon or the Wort Moon. Every year there are between 12 and 13 Full Moons, each with a unique name and associated folklore. June’s Full Moon, for instance, is popularly known as the Strawberry Moon.

When is the July Buck Moon?

The Full Moon will peak early on Sunday, July 5, for stargazers in the UK.

The Moon will positions itself directly across from the Sun at about 5.44am BST (4.44am UTC).

Although a Moon is only technically full for a brief moment, it will appear full to the naked eye for about three days centred on the peak.

Depending on your time zone, the peak will occur on Saturday or Sunday.

The Full Moon also happens to coincide with a partial penumbral eclipse.


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What is the meaning behind the Buck Moon’s name?

The Full Moon’s named are traditionally associated with Native American folklore and time-keeping traditions.

The Moon’s full phases would be named after seasonal changes in the landscape and wildlife.

The Strawberry Moon, for instance, signalled wild strawberries were ripe for picking.

The Cold Moon in December, on the other hand, is named after the start of winter.

Early Summer is normally when the new antlers of buck deer push out

Gordon Johnston, NASA

The Buck Moon is believed to be named after bucks sprouting new antlers around this time of the year.

According to the British Deer Society, male deer or bucks drop and grow their antlers over periods of months.

The antlers typically start to grow in early spring and are covered in velvet between May and August.

NASA’s lunar expert Gordon Johnston said: “The Maine Farmer’s Almanac first published ‘Indian’ names for the Full Moons in the 1930s.

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“According to this almanac, as the Full Moon in July and the first Full Moon of Summer, the Algonquin tribes in what is now the Eastern USA called this Full Moon the Buck Moon.

“Early Summer is normally when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur.

“They also called this the Thunder Moon because of early Summer’s frequent thunderstorms.”

The Buck Moon is also known as the Hay Moon after the July hay harvest.

Hindus and Buddhists also celebrate the Buck Moon as the Guru Purnima – a day dedicated to the celebration of teachers or gurus.

When are the Full Moons this year?

Here are all of the Full Moons and their names for 2020

January 10 – Wolf Moon

February 9 – Snow Moon

March 9 – Worm Moon

April 8 – Pink Moon

May 7 – Flower Moon

June 5 – Strawberry Moon

July 5 – Buck Moon

August 3 – Sturgeon Moon

September 2 – Harvest Moon

October 1 – Hunter’s Moon

October 30 – Hunter’s Moon

November 30 – Beaver Moon

December 30 – Cold Moon

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