The Old English Lunar Calendar

The Old English lunar calendar is not really a calendar as such, but more a nomenclature for the months based on the full moon that occurred in that month. There are many different systems of names that were used, as detailed in this Wikipedia article.

The “calendar” that I have detailed here is, like my Old English solar calendar, a notional one based on a number of influences. One aspect of it is that the names of the months, or “Moons”, are determined by the season in which they fall. For example, the first full moon after the winter solstice is theĀ Moon After Yule, and the first one following the spring equinox is theĀ Egg Moon. If there are four full moons in a season, then the third one becomes the “Blue Moon”, as detailed in this article in Sky and Telescope.

The Old English Moon Names

The following table shows the names that I have assumed for this calendar. Many of the names come about due to the solar month that they tend to fall in, for example the “Egg Moon” tends to fall in the solar month of Eostremonath or “Easter Month”, and can also be called the “Easter Moon”.

Full Moon Name Date Range
Moon After Yule Dec – Jan
Snow Moon Jan – Feb
Lenten Moon Feb – Mar
Egg or Easter Moon Mar – Apr
Milk Moon Apr – May
Flower Moon May – Jun
Hay Moon Jun – Jul
Grain Moon Jul – Aug
Harvest Moon Aug – Sep
Hunter’s Moon Sep – Oct
Blood Moon Oct – Nov
Moon Before Yule Nov – Dec

As detailed above, the convention I have used is to deem the third full moon of four in any season as the “Blue” moon. This is done to avoid changing the name of full moons that depend on when they occur, e.g. the Moon Before Yule must be the last full moon of autumn, otherwise it will not be the Moon Before Yule. So, applying the “Blue” moon nomenclature to the third moon avoids changing this, as the Moon Before Yule will then become the fourth full moon of autumn and will still be the one preceding Yule (i.e. the winter solstice).