February Full Moon: When to see the Snow Moon and how it got its name

February's full moon is known as the Snow Moon.February's full moon is known as the Snow Moon.
February's full moon is known as the Snow Moon. | Canva/Getty Images
Want to see the next full moon of 2024? We have all the details you need.

It's a sight that has inspired mythssuperstitions and awe through the centuries - when the night sky is lit up by the seemingly-perfect glowing sphere of a full moon.

We experience one full moon every month, with each one given a different evocative name.

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Here's how to see the second one of 2024 - the chilly-sounding Snow Moon. Just make sure you wrap up warm.

What is a full moon?

A full moon is when moon appears as a complete circle in the sky. The moon produces no light of its own, so this only happens when the moon is on the opposite side of the Earth to the Sun - meaning the whole of the near side of the moon is fully lit up.

When is the Snow Moon in 2024?

The next full moon or ‘Snow Moon’ will reach its peak on Saturday, February 24, reaching its peak at 12.30pm. This time only applies to the UK however as when the full moon rises and sets depends on where you are on the planet. Although it peaks during the day you'll still be able to see the (almost imperceptibly less) full moon at night.

What is a Snow Moon?

The Snow Moon is so called because February is historically the snowiest month in the Northern Hemisphere - including in North America where native Americans named it. The Cherokee tribe also called it the Bony Moon and the Hungry Moon due to the scarcity of food in the snow.

Why do full moons have different names?

Full moon names are often attributed to Native American tribes that would give full moons nicknames to keep track of them as they didn’t record time using months found in the Julian or Gregorian calendar. Most of the names were linked to a specific event, for example this wolf moon is associated with the presence of howling wolves nearby their camps at this time.

Other moons like the blood moon were thought to be caused by Jaguars who attacked the moon and left it bleeding hence the red colour. These lunar systems and their names differed between tribes but as Farmer’s Almanac reports it seems Colonial Americans adopted some of these names and incorporated them into their own calendar systems - their use then spread to other countries, including the United Kingdom.

When are the other full moons of 2024?

Here’s a full list of the remaining full moons in 2024:

March 25 - ‘Worm Moon’

April 24 - ‘Pink Moon’

May 23 - ‘Flower Moon’

June 22 - ‘Strawberry Moon’

July 21 - ‘Buck Moon’

August 19 - ‘Sturgeon Moon’ (also a seasonal Blue Moon)

September 18 - ‘Harvest Moon’ (also a Supermoon)

October 17 - ‘Hunter’s Moon’

November 15 - ‘Beaver Moon’

December 15 - ‘Cold Moon’

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