Full ‘Beaver Moon’ About to Grace the Night Sky Late November—Here’s What You Need to Know

Full ‘Beaver Moon’ About to Grace the Night Sky Late November—Here’s What You Need to Know
An illustration designed by The Epoch Times using imagery from Shutterstock. (Fernando Astasio Avila/Jody Ann/Onkamon/Shutterstock)
Epoch Inspired Staff
11/23/2023
Updated:
11/23/2023
0:00

The full moon named after America’s largest rodent will fall in just a few days. Not unlike Native cultures of old, beavers get busy prepping their homes for winter this time of year. Hence, as the full moons of each calendrical month are traditionally given names—such as Worm Moon (March) or Buck Moon (July)—often derived from tribal or European cultures, next week’s has been dubbed the “Beaver Moon.”

At exactly 4:16 a.m. EST on Monday, Nov. 27, the Beaver Moon will be at its fullest, as it will be most directly opposite the sun when viewed from the Earth. Stargazers in North America may find the best time for moon viewing to be after sunset on the night of Sunday, Nov. 26. Those in the Eastern Hemisphere may catch a better view on the night of Nov. 27.

In November, the full moon is usually sighted among one of three constellations. This year, as with most, it will be found in Taurus though it can sometimes be found in Aries, as it will be in 2025. Quite rarely it will be seen in the sprawling constellation Cetus.

Speaking of astronomy, notably the small star cluster Pleiades may be seen just above the full Beaver Moon, while the planet Jupiter will be slightly above and eastward. The star Aldebaran—the red eye of the bull Taurus—will be positioned underneath.

A full November moon, known as a Beaver Moon, rises in Glastonbury, England. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
A full November moon, known as a Beaver Moon, rises in Glastonbury, England. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
As for folklore, the Beaver Moon might have gotten its name due to the fact that beaver pelts get their thickest this time of year (beavers have to keep warm in winter). In the 1800s in America, hunting beavers for their pelts was big business, so November might have been peak season for the trade, giving rise to the moon’s name, according to Farmer’s Almanac.
Notably, however, if the moon falls before Nov. 7, it becomes the Hunter’s Moon, according to EarthSky. This is due to the fact that it occurs closest to the fall equinox, giving rise to an astronomical moniker.

Of course, there are countless other cultures with names for this full moon. The first frost typically arrives just before November and is a sign of winter’s coming. To the Algonquins it was the “Moon of Much White Frost on Grass;” for the Abenaki, Arapaho, and Cree it was the “Moon When the Rivers Begin to Freeze;” it was simply called the “Frost Moon” in the Assiniboine language.

A large beaver building a dam. (Dan-Pepper/Shutterstock)
A large beaver building a dam. (Dan-Pepper/Shutterstock)

While more southerly Native cultures would not have had frost, they still would have been prepping for the cold season. The Puebloans called it the “Moon When All is Gathered In;” while the Kalapuya of the Pacific Northwest called it the “Moon of Moving Inside for Winter.”

Likewise, the industrious beaver would be busier than ever prepping its dam for indoor season. Chewing through timber in all seriousness with its large, chisel-like teeth, logs would be packed with small brush, rocks, and mud to form a lodge where it would stay for the remainder of winter. It would surely want to stash some willow, ash, birch, or some other hardwood to snack on until spring.

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