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CINDY DAY: May's moon moniker

Steve Rogers snapped this one as the "almost" full moon was rising over the Bay of Fundy at St. Martins, N.B.
Steve Rogers snapped this one as the

A full moon is magical. It can be romantic, mysterious, even eerie, and it is always very bright. Since time began, people have been curious about the moon. Calendars were designed around them; holidays and observances set according to them. For example, did you know that Easter is always the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox? Always is.

Cindy Day
Cindy Day

It’s also a long-standing tradition to name full moons. Different tribes and cultures have unique names for the moons, but they were almost always named from observation; they are a reflection of what was happening in nature at the time of the full moon.

Tuesday, May 29's  full moon is the full flower moon. Come May, many of us are enjoying, crocuses, tulips, forsythia, azaleas, primrose, and the list goes on. For that reason, some people claim that May is their favourite month. After the storm that dumped record amounts of snow over parts of Newfoundland last week, I’m quite sure it’s not everyone’s favourite, but I digress.

The full moon in May is also known as the full corn-planting moon. Long before tractors with headlights, farmers would sow the fields by the light of the moon. They also believed that once the full moon in May rolled around, the soil would be warm enough for them to seed.

Farmers are not the only ones fascinated by the moon. Scientists and behavioural specialists have been studying its impact on us for decades. I recently came across some research being conducted in Florida: an expert on animal behaviour reports that hamsters spin in their wheels more aggressively during a full moon. I don’t have a hamster. If you do, keep an eye on its activity and let me know.

Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network.

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