What Is A Beaver Moon? It Actually Represents The Last Days Before Winter

We've all heard of blue moons, new moons, and full moons, but what about a Beaver Moon? Tonight, just a few days after Halloween, this sight will make an appearance in our skies. So what is a Beaver Moon and why have you probably never heard of it? In short, it’s a full moon. However more specifically, it’s the name for the full moon that occurs each year in the month of November. Depending on where you are in the world, each month has a different name for the full moon that is present at the end of the moon cycle. Last month we had the Harvest Moon and December’s moon goes by the name Oak Moon, Cold Moon or Long Night’s Moon, which is the last full moon of the year and the one closest to the winter solstice (which happens on Dec. 21).

According to Newsweek, the Beaver Moon got its name from a period of time when hunting for beaver was way more typical a thing to do. November would mark the last month before bodies of water would become uninhabitable by beavers and the full moon in November would be the “last chance to set beaver traps” to capture the animals for their fur, which humans needed to stay warm in the coming months. The moon would provide the light people needed to make their last rounds of hunting before the winter set in. In Europe, the Beaver Moon is also known as the Hunter's Moon for this very reason.

According to NASA, the name “Beaver Moon” was first recorded by The Maine Farmers Almanac in the 1930s. NASA also alleges that the name Beaver Moon could have come from the fact that many beavers could be seen in early November preparing for the winter, rather than a time they were actually hunted.

How To See The Beaver Moon

You're in luck if you haven't made weekend plans yet, because the Beaver Moon will be visible tonight, Nov. 3, 2017 and last until the morning of Nov. 4. According to NASA the best time to view the full moon moon will occur at 1:23 am ET.

Every month sees a new full moon (hence the term “cycle”), and it represents the time when the moon is brightest in the night sky, but also signifies a chance for new beginnings. Centuries ago, this was a way to mark a new month, a new period of activity and basically keep track of what was to be done. Today, these names are reminders of the past in this way and are still used, but definitely not in the same context or for the same purposes. Full moons are an excellent time to prep for a moon ritual, or to manifest something you've been wanting for a long time. Take some time to reflect on how your life is going, and pay attention to anything you might need to let go of. Check out Elite Daily's guide to participating in your own moon ritual if you feel like getting into the spirit.

Don't Forget Daylight Savings Happens This Weekend As Well

The Beaver Moon will be a great start to your weekend, so try to take some time to stop and check it out, and enjoy the last few moments of warm-ish weather before winter fully hits.

A bit of a reminder: while it doesn't happen after every full moon, Sunday Nov. 5 at 2 a.m. does mark Daylight Savings time, which is when we fall back an hour. So go, enjoy looking at the full moon tonight, because you're going to be gaining an extra hour of glorious sleep come Monday, which is definitely something to be thankful for.