November: Milk Moon

Milk is an important agricultural product and dietary component in modern day South Africa and it has deep historical roots in pre-colonial South Africa.

For the pastoral KhoiKhoi, contrary to popular perception, meat was not the major protein source in their diet, it was milk.

When Jan van Riebeek arrived in the Cape of Good Hope in 1652 the KhoiKhoi welcomed him by offering him a drink of fresh milk.

Several early explorers recorded having been offered milk, either fresh or fermented, to drink by the KhoiKhoi during their travels. There are several reports by these travellers of the use of milk in cooking and of foods cooked in milk by the KhoiKhoi. It is also on record that the KhoiKhoi made butter.

Among the Xhosa, Zulus and other groups who arrived from east and central Africa, milk was and still is an important food source, both in its fresh and fermented form.

A second Full Moon in November is the Wool Moon.


Date of Milk Moon (2020–2050)

2020 Nov 30, 11:30
2021 Nov 19, 11:00
2022 Nov 08, 13:06
2023 Nov 27, 11:24
2024 Nov 15, 23:30
2025 Nov 05, 15:24
2026 Nov 24, 16:54
2027 Nov 14, 05:24
2028 Nov 02, 11:12
2029 Nov 21, 06:00
2030 Nov 10, 05:30
2031 Nov 28, 01:24
2032 Nov 17, 08:48
2033 Nov 06, 22:36
2034 Nov 25, 00:36
2035 Nov 15, 15:48

2036 Nov 04, 02:48
2037 Nov 22, 23:36
2038 Nov 11, 00:30
2039 Nov 30, 18:54
2040 Nov 18, 21:12
2041 Nov 08, 06:48
2042 Nov 27, 08:12
2043 Nov 16, 23:54
2044 Nov 05, 14:24
2045 Nov 24, 13:42
2046 Nov 13, 19:00
2047 Nov 02, 19:00
2048 Nov 20, 13:24
2049 Nov 09, 17:42
2050 Nov 28, 17:12


Further reading

  • Goodwin (1952) from Jan van Riebeek’s diary
  • Lombard, M. & Parsons, I. (2015) Milk not Meat: The Role of Milk amongst the Khoe Peoples of Southern Africa. J. African Archaeology, 13(2), 149-166.


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