The Land That Gives Life
There are 28 days between each of the 13 moons of Creation. Each moon is named to reflect the seasonal influence within its cycle.
Click each moon for details
Great spirit moon
The Great Spirit Moon soars high in the winter sky, representing a new beginning of life for all. At this sacred time of year, we welcome the Great Spirit into our lives. It is also known as kissy month as we greet friends and neighbours, and wish each other a happy New Year.
Moon with short light
The daylight hours grow shorter. Red sucker fish migrate from their winter habitats to shallow streams where they will spawn. It is said that this fish gives up its life for the people during this time of year.
The bald eagle returns to the North.
As Canada Geese return to the North, their V-formations mark the sky with a sure sign of spring. Along with their honks, we begin to hear the low croaking and calling of frogs.
Ice break-up moon
The ice breaks up on lakes and rivers, allowing moose to enter the waters—moose cows will swim across lakes and swamps to nearby islands where they will give birth and keep their calves safe from predators.
Flowers, leaves and medicines are given life and begin to bloom.
Hatching egg moon
Geese eggs start to hatch, and soon parents will lead their goslings to water for safety.
Wild blueberries emerge and grow ripe enough for picking. During this moon, many crops are ready for harvesting, including raspberries, chokecherries and sagewort.
Wild rice starts ripening on the shorelines. This is a season of harvesting and a way of life.
Leaves changing colour moon
At this time of the year, the trees paint the horizon with brilliant hues of red, orange and yellow. The fall crops are ready for harvest. One must avoid watching the Vs of geese flying south or it will be a long and hard winter.
Falling leaves moon
The beautiful colours of fall make their offerings with falling leaves. Anishinaabeg collect medicines and firewood to prepare for winter.
Lakes, rivers and waterways begin to freeze, a signal that it is time to harvest moose, ducks, geese and beaver in preparation for winter.
Little spirit moon
This is a time of healing, for making efforts to walk a good path, and for sharing positive energy with family and community.
Our bird calendars highlight the migration and breeding times of four bird species that thrive in Pimachiowin Aki:
- Gwiigwiishi (Canada Jay/Gray Jay)
- Atatigoise (Red-breasted Nuthatch)
- Okanise (American Goldfinch)
- Ginoowinzow (White-throated Sparrow)
These species are target birds from the Climate Watch study conducted by the National Audubon Society. Use our calendars to identify and monitor these birds in your area, and join the movement to understand how birds are responding to climate change.
Each season brings its own gifts to Pimachiowin Aki. As the landscape, wildlife, plants and trees go through seasonal changes, life on the land changes, too. Use our calendar to gain seasonal knowledge and trace our traditional land use activities throughout the year.