Take a Break from Your Netflix Queue to Watch This Month’s “Snow Moon” From Your Backyard

published Feb 22, 2021
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In the dead of winter, it can be hard to push yourself up from your couch and go for a walk in the great — and often freezing — outdoors. However, there’s one reason to press pause of your TV remote, bundle up, and step outside for part of the evening: February’s “Snow Moon.”

The seasonal-themed name is another word for this month’s full moon, which will appear in the night sky this Friday, Feb. 26 and into the next morning. It will hit peak illumination at 3:17 a.m., according to timeanddate.com, but you can catch the moon before or after.

As the name suggests, “Snow Moon” comes from the precipitation that typically happens around this time of the year. However, what might be lesser known is why full moons have nicknames in the first place.

Historically, Indigenous tribes of North America followed the lunar calendar and used the full moon to track the changing seasons, which led to naming the moons after elements specific to that month. According to the Farmers’ Almanac, the Mi’kmaq people of Eastern Canada actually called February’s moon “Snow Blinding Moon” after the treacherous wind they would face. Other documented nicknames include “Hunger Moon” from food scarcity and “Storm Moon,” which also came from the harsh winter weather.

Since you don’t need a streaming service to see the moon, try heading to an outdoor space and look up, even for a few minutes. You can always head back instead and hit play — your TV isn’t going anywhere (but another full moon isn’t until March 28).