WHY IS IT CALLED THE FULL WOLF MOON?
The full Moon names used by The Old Farmer’s Almanac come from a number of places, including Native American, Colonial American, and European sources. Traditionally, each full Moon name was applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred, not just to the full Moon itself.
It’s thought that January’s full Moon came to be known as the Wolf Moon because wolves were more often heard howling at this time. It was traditionally believed that wolves howled due to hunger during winter, but we know today that wolves howl for other reasons. Howling and other wolf vocalizations are generally used to define territory, locate pack members, reinforce social bonds, and coordinate hunting.
Alternative January Moon Names
Another fitting name for this full Moon is the Center Moon. Used by the Assiniboine people, it refers to the idea that this Moon roughly marks the middle of the winter season.
Other traditional names for the January Moon emphasize the harsh coldness of the season: Cold Moon (Cree), Frost Exploding Moon (Cree), Freeze Up Moon (Algonquin), Severe Moon (Dakota), and Hard Moon (Dakota). See all 12 months of Full Moon names and their meanings.
Here’s a video for January’s Full Wolf Moon narrated by Amy Nieskens