Pick a name: Vancouver to see a massive snow, hunger, or bone moon next month


snow moon
Vancouver BC Canada,October 4 2017. Canada place with full moon backgrounds / Shutterstock

Vancouverites were privy to the stunning super blood wolf moon as well as a total lunar eclipse in January, but the city will experience another stellar celestial display this February.

February’s full moon takes place in Vancouver on February 19, and will be at its fullest at 7:53 am in the morning; however, the moon will appear full throughout the duration of the night.

February’s full moon is commonly known as the ‘snow moon’ in North America and dates back to Native American times; it was given that name because February typically experienced the greatest amount of snowfall during the year.

With that being said, the February moon could also be known as the ‘moon of many names’ due to the number of different names it has around the world. In fact, it even had a number of names in North America alone.

“Hunting becomes very difficult, and so some Native American tribes called this the Hunger Moon. Others called this Moon the “Shoulder to Shoulder Around the Fire Moon” (from the Wishram people of the Pacific Northwest), the “No Snow in the Trails Moon” (Zuni, of the Southwest), and the “Bone Moon” (Cherokee, of the Southeast). The Bone Moon meant that there was so little food that people gnawed on bones and ate bone marrow soup,” reports The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Similarly, Moon Giant points out that the Kalapuya tribe referred to it as the ‘Out of Food Moon.’ Further, it notes that Cherokee tribes would commune with their dead ancestors during this time.

In contrast, it notes that the February moon isn’t always associated with death across the globe. For example, many East Asian cultures ring in the new year during this time, and therefore they associate the moon with new beginnings. Many countries celebrate the occasion with lantern festivals and celebratory foods.

Stargazers who plan on viewing the show with the naked eye should opt to travel as far away from city lights as possible. This will avoid light pollution that will obscure the clarity of heavenly bodies. And, while this works best the in more remote places, anywhere that has a higher elevation will also provide more ideal viewing conditions.