Whether the full moon in November 2020 is a beaver moon or a flower moon is not rocket science to solve. I mean, it’s just simple physics.
In other words, just because of the earth’s curvature, for the people living in the northern hemisphere, the full moon in November is the Beaver moon. On the other hand, for the people living in the southern hemisphere, the full moon in this month is the flower moon.
Obviously, you would be thinking that why this happens? Well, in a one-liner, I would say that it happens because when there is winter in the northern hemisphere (like right now), there is summer in the southern hemisphere.
We will talk about it in the later section. But, before going into the long detailed conversation, let me tell you some basic chronology regarding the full moon.
Highly recommended: Full Moon Calendar 2021 (Dates, Names & Moon Sign– Southern Hemisphere)
What is a Full Moon?
It’s not a hidden fact that the sun lits the moon and all the other planets of the solar system including the earth. How the moon orbits around the earth and casts its different phases is scientifically known as the lunar phases of the moon.
To put it differently, every day we observe the changing phases of the moon from new moon to full moon to new moon is lunar phases of the moon. Out of all, one of its primary phases is the full moon phase.
A full moon is a phase when the surface of the moon is 100 percent lit or illuminated. And for that to happen, the sun, moon, and the earth have to be perfectly aligned in a straight line i.e the sun and the moon are separated by 180 degrees.
In other words, you can say that the Full Moon phase always occurs when the moon is totally on the opposite side of the earth. Not to mention, only on a full moon day, a lunar eclipse can occur.
Well, it doesn’t mean that on every full moon, you will see a lunar eclipse. I mean it happens occasionally but purely scientifically. In fact, according to the scientific justification, on November full moon, a penumbral lunar eclipse will occur.
Take a look: Why Can’t We See The Dark Side of The Moon?
Why Different Full Moon Names in Different Hemisphere?
Without wasting any more time, let me give you the exact reason behind it. Just because there is an approx 6 months of seasonal difference, the people living above and below the equator use different full moon names.
For millennia, ancient humans have used different seasons as a guide to track the different full moon phases. Or, you can say for millennia, humans have used the full moon phases to track the changing season.
Obviously, now you would be thinking that what could be the reason behind the seasonal difference between the two hemispheres? Well, this season difference happens due to the joint effect of the earth’s tilt and Kepler’s laws of motion.
Just because of the topic demand, I cant go deep there. But if you want to know more about the earth’s tilt and how it affects the seasons on the earth, you can check this article. I can bet you will love this piece of article.
Highly recommended, Full Moon Calendar 2021 (Dates, Names & Moon Sign – Northern Hemisphere)
Different Full Moon Names for November Full Moon
Just to clarify, seasons are not the only way possible to provide different full moon names. I mean the names given to the various full moon phases are based upon a couple of unexpected sources.
In other words, different people have given different full moon names, of course, depending upon their native place or their cultural lifestyle. In fact, even mythological characters had played their role in the naming of the full moon phases.
Out of all, the most famous, and, of course, widely acknowledged full moon names came from the tribes of native American culture. As per the legends, in order to keep track of changing seasons, the Algonquin tribal people used to follow the lunar calendar rather than following the solar calendar.
These full moon names were adopted by Colonial Americans and European settlers. Later with time, these names were integrated with the modern (Georgian calendar) calendar.
Beaver Moon in Northern Hemisphere
In the northern hemisphere or so-called western culture, November full moon is known as Beaver Moon. WHY? Because during this time of the year, these semiaquatic rodents vigorously start building their dams of wood and mud for the forthcoming winter season.
I mean, as the temperature decreases, harvesting also slows down. As a result, aminals (Beavers) starts to prepare everything before the ice set in. Additionally, the beaver is also an official symbol of Canada.
Not to mention, the other name of the full moon in this month is the frost moon. And, I hope that you know the obvious reason behind it. Moreover, as per the northern hemisphere’s point of view, the full beaver moon is the last full moon before the arrival of the Winter solstice.
Just to let you know that in the northern hemisphere, the winter solstice is the darkest day of the year. Conversely, the summer solstice (in May) is the longest day of the year.
Flower Moon in Southern Hemisphere
You would be amused to know that the full moon names used in the southern hemisphere are the same as the northern hemisphere, just the seasonal difference. Wanna know why???
Well, because the people living in the southern hemisphere (Australia, South Africa, or South America) are none other than the European settlers.
In other words, you can say that European settlers, at first, integrated the native American full moon names into their modern Georgian calendar. And, later, many of these full moon names went with them to new places around the world.
Therefore, people living in the southern hemisphere call the November full moon the full flower moon.WHY? Because this month indicates the official arrival of spring.
The other name of the full moon in this month (of course in the southern hemisphere) is milk moon or hare moon. Moreover, as per the southern hemisphere’s point of view, the full flower moon is the last full moon before the arrival of the Summer Solstice.
As I am an Indian. Therefore, I would like to mention the Indian perception about November month’s full moon. First of all, a full moon in Hindi is famously known as Purnima. Therefore, as per traditional Indian guidelines, the full moon in November is known as Kartik Purnima.
Moreover, this auspicious day is also celebrated as the birth anniversary of Matsya Avatar (Fish Incarnation) of Lord Vishnu. As per Vedic literature, this Hindu god is also regarded as the preserver of the universe.
Other cultural Full Moon names
Well, if you go somewhere away from your native place, you will see that local indigenous people have their own indigenous full moon names. For example:
- Chinese people call November full moon a White Moon
- Celtic people call it a dark moon
- Medieval English people call it a snow moon, etc.
When is the Next Full Moon in 2020?
The next full moon will occur on Monday, November 30, 2020, and is known as the full beaver moon. Okay, for the northerners, it will be beaver moon. And, for the southerner, it will be a full flower moon. Additionally, on November 30, 2020; the moon will be in Gemini.
The November full moon will be 100% illuminated but not all the time. WHY? Because there will be a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse coinciding with November’s full moon.
Not to mention, this penumbral lunar eclipse will be the fourth and the last lunar eclipse of 2020. Just to let you know, the last penumbral lunar eclipse was on the eve of the full buck moon.
I wish you good luck with this epic moon gazing. I mean, it’s a double bonanza. And, do let me know about your amazing experience in the comment section.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How many phases of the moon are there?
Ans. In total, there are 8 lunar phases of the moon which can be divided into two subdivisions. In the primary subdivision, there are 4 phases of the moon. These are New Moon, First Quarter Moon, Full Moon, Last Quarter Moon.
Similarly, in the secondary subdivision, there are Waxing Crescent Moon, Waxing Gibbous Moon, Waning Gibbous Moon, and Waning Crescent Moon.
2. How many full moons in one year?
Ans. Generally, there are 12 full moons in one year corresponding to each month. But, sometimes there are 13 full moons in a year (Just like the year 2020). The additional full moon is known as the blue moon.
3. Which countries are in the southern hemisphere?
Ans. There are so many countries in the southern hemisphere. Some of them are listed below:
- New Zealand
- Most countries of South America
- One-third of African countries, etc.
4. List of full moon names by month.
Ans. Here is the list of complete full moon names of 2020.
- January full moon – Wolf Moon
- February full moon – Snow Moon
- March full moon – Worm Moon
- April full moon – Pink Moon
- May full moon – Flower Moon
- June full moon – Strawberry Moon
- July full moon – Buck Moon
- August full moon – Sturgeon Moon
- September full moon – Corn Moon
- October full moon – Harvest Moon and Blue Moon
- November full moon – Beaver Moon
- December full moon – Cold Moon
Note: These full moon names are strictly according to the northern hemisphere’s regions. However, if you wanna get the full moon names by month according to the southern hemisphere’s region, just move 6 months forward in the above full moon list.
For example, in the month of November, when there is a beaver moon in the northern hemisphere. Correspondingly, there is a Flower moon in the southern hemisphere i.e a six-month difference.
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