Moons & Days

Traditionally, one month was the period from one full moon to the next full moon. There are 13 of these cycles as the earth orbits around the sun through the four seasons. There are many ways that nature reminds us of these cycles. One way to remember these moons is through the symbolism of the turtle’s back.


We have included a range of month names to highlight the way various Anishinaabe communities have distinct traditions based on their own environment and activities. Most Anishinaabe communities are located in the Great Lakes Watershed and you will notice the moon names are a reflection of the environment and activities of this part of the world. It is likely that climate change may impact these names in coming decades.

The table below shows the basic difference between Western and Eastern dialects but we have attempted to include as many variations as possible. Let us know if you and members of your community use different terms.

English Western Dialect Eastern Dialect
January Aabita-bibooni-giizis (Half Winter Moon)
Gichimanidoo-giizis (Great Spirit Moon)
Manidoo-giizis (Spirit Moon)
Manidoo-giizis (Spirit Moon)
Nmebin-giizis (Sucker moon)
Shki-bboon-giisoons (Little New-winter Moon)
February Namebini-giizis (Suckerfish Moon)
Migiziwi-giizis (Eagle Moon)
Mkwa-giizis (Bear Moon)
Mko Giizis (Bear Moon)
Naabni-giizis (Crust-on-the-snow Moon)
Naaban-giizis (Crust-on-the-snow Moon)
March Onaabani-giizis (Snowcrust Moon)
Aandego-giizis (Crow Moon)
Onaabdin-giizis (Snowcrust Moon)
Ziisbaakdoke Giizis (Sugar Making Moon)
Ziizbaakdoke-giizis (Sugaring Moon)
*Thirteenth Month Bookwaagame-giizis (Broken Snowshoe Moon) Bokwaagame-giizis (Broken Snowshoe Moon)
April Iskigamizige-giizis (Boiling Sap Moon)
Maango-giizis (Loon Moon)
Skigamizige-giizis (Boiling Sap Moon)
Namebin Giizis (Suckerfish Moon)
Nmebin-giizis (Sucker moon)
May Zaagibagaa-giizis (Budding Moon)
Zaagibagaawi-giizis (Budding Moon)
Waabigwani-giizis (Flower Moon)
Namebine-giizis (Suckerfish Moon)
Waskoone Giizis (Flower Moon)
Waawaaskone-giizis (Flower Moon)
Gtige-giizis (Planting Moon)
June Ode’imini-giizis (Strawberry Moon)
Ode’iminikewi-giizis (Picking Strawberries Moon)
Baashkaabigonii-giizis (Blooming Moon)
De’min-giizis (Strawberry Moon)
Ode’imin Giizis (Strawberry Moon)
Gtige-giizis (Planting Moon)
July Aabita-niibino-giizis (Half Summer Moon)
Baapaashkizige-giizis (Bursting Moon)
Miin-giizis (Blueberry Moon)
Miinikewi-giizis (Picking Blueberries Moon)
Miin-giizis (Bluberry Moon)
August Manoominike-giizis (Ricing Moon)
Manoominikewi-giizis (Ricing Moon)
Miini-giizis (Blueberry Moon)
Manoominike-giizis (Ricing Moon)
Mskominike Giizis (Raspberry-Picking Moon)
Datgaagmin-giizis (Blackberry Moon)
September Manoominike-giizis (Ricing Moon)
Waatebagaa-giizis (Leaves Turning Moon)
Waagaabagaa-giizis (Leaves Turning Moon)
Waabagaa Giizis (Leaves-Turning-Colors Moon)
Mdaamin-giizis (Corn Moon)
October Binaakwe-giizis (Falling Leaves Moon)
Binakwii-giizis (Falling Leaves Moon)
Binaakwiiwi-giizis (Falling Leaves Moon)
Waatebagaa-giizis (Leaves-Turning-Colors Moon)
Waatebagaawi-giizis (Leaves-Turning-Colors Moon)
Binaakwe-giizis (Falling Leaves Moon) Bnakwe Giizis (Falling Leaves Moon)
Bnaakwii-giizis (Harvest Moon)
November Gashkadino-Giizis (Freezing Over Moon) Baashkaakodin-Giizis (Freezing Moon)
Mshka’odin Giizis (Frozen Moon)
Gshkadin-giizis (Freeze-up Moon)
December Bibooni-giizis (Winter Moon)
Manidoo-Giizisoons (Little Spirit Moon)
Manidoo-Giizisoons (Little Spirit Moon)
Manidoo Giisoonhs (Little Spirit Moon)
Gchi-bboon-giizis (Big Winter Moon)

Days of the Week

We have included day names in both Western and Eastern dialects although it should be noted againthat many people in different areas use different names for these. The Western dialect names are the ones used in the Grand Portage community. The Eastern dialect names are provided by the Wikwemikong Heritage Organization.

English Western Dialect Western Days Eastern Dialect Eastern Days
It’s Monday Nitam-anokii-giizhigad (turn to work day) Ishkwaanaame-giizhigad (after prayer day)
It’s Tuesday Niizho-giizhigad (second day) Niizho-giizhigad (second day)
It’s Wednesday Aabitoose (middle of the week) Zozep-giizhigad (Joseph’s Day)
It’s Thursday Niiyo-giizhigad (fourth day) Spinagwanon (Consecration Day)
It’s Friday Naano-giizhigad (fifth day) Jiibaatigo-giizhigad (Cross Day)
It’s Saturday Ishkwaajanokii-giizhigad (day after work) Maanii-giizhigad (Mary’s Day)
It’s Sunday Anama’e-giizhigad (prayer day) Naame-giizhigad (prayer day)

Share This Page, Choose Your Platform!