August: Dusty Moon

Across large parts of South Africa August heralds the arrival of strong north-westerly winds that raise clouds of dust from the bone dry earth. The dust is hurled high into the sky and it rolls across the countryside like a red fog. The Sun is often dimmed and dust coats everything, driven by the relentless wind.

Several of the names given to this time of the year by indigenous groups testify to the unpleasantness of the wind and dust.

Place names associated with dust:

Rweleleyathunya is a township in the Mohokare Local Municipality of the Free State Province situated about 2 km from the town of Rouxville which is considered the centre of the wool producing area of the Transgariep. The name is derived from Sesotho and Setswana and means ‘place where dust is blownʼ.

Stofdraai (dusty turn/bend) is a farm in Oshikoto region of Namibia.

Stofgat (dusty hole) is a farm south-west of Windhoek in Namibia.

Stofkloof (dusty ravine) is a farm south-east of Springbok in the Northern Cape Province.

Stofkloofpas (dusty ravine pass) is on the road between Springbok and Kliprand ‘stony ridgeʼ in the Northern Cape Province.

Stofkraal (dusty livestock enclosure) is the name of eighteen farms spread across South Africa.

Stofkraalsdraai (dusty livestock enclosure’s bend) is the name of a farm north-east of Fraserburg in the Northern Cape Province.

Stofpad (dusty road) is the name of a farm north-west of Plettenberg Bay in the Eastern Cape Province.

Stofpoort (dusty defile) is the name of a farm east of Zebedelia in the Limpopo Province.

The August Dusty Moon only occurs twice during the period 2020 – 2050.

The first Full Moon in August is the Peace Moon.

Dates of Dusty Moon

2023 Aug 31, 03:36

2042 Aug 31, 04:00

Heritage Full Moons in South Africa

MonthFirst Full MoonSecond Full Moon
JanuaryMantis MoonLeopard Moon
FebruaryDassie Moon——
MarchHarvest MoonOchre Moon
AprilDiamond MoonGold Moon
MayFrost MoonFire Moon
JuneSisters MoonHoney Moon
JulyMeerkat MoonProtea Moon
AugustPeace MoonDusty Moon
SeptemberSpring MoonBlue Crane Moon
OctoberWhale MoonElephant Moon
NovemberMilk MoonWool Moon
DecemberSpringbok MoonEland Moon

Protecting South Africa’s astronomical heritage