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
The next full moon will occur on January 10th at 2:21 PM ET, and is known as the Wolf Moon, or the Moon After Yule. There are many legends and folklore about wolves and their meaning in nature, including the weather-ology of the Winter Wolf.
“Full Moon names date back to Native Americans of North America. Tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full Moon. Full Moon names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred.”
There was some variation in the full Moon names, but in general, the same ones were consistent among regional tribes. European settlers followed that custom and created some of their own names.
The Full Wolf Moon will be 100% full Jan 4 at 8:54 P.M. Las Vegas time.
Full Moon Names
January is the month of the Full Wolf Moon. It appeared when wolves howled in hunger outside the villages. It is also known as the Old Moon. To some Native American tribes, this was the Snow Moon, but most applied that name to the next full Moon, in February.
The Full Wolf Moon: January 15, 2014 at 8:53 P.M. Las Vegas Time
From The Old Farmer’s Almanac
“January is the month of the Full Wolf Moon. It appeared when wolves howled in hunger outside the villages. It is also known as the Old Moon. To some Native American tribes, this was the Snow Moon, but most applied that name to the next full Moon, in February.”
Farmer’s Almanac’sFull Moon Video featuring, Amy Nieskens
“Each month, we will explain the traditional names of the full Moon along with some fascinating Moon facts. In this video, learn about January’s Full Wolf Moon. Click below to watch video.”
A bright first Moon promises rain and a bountiful harvest; a red-tinted Moon means a dry year.
A growing Moon and a flowing tide are lucky times to marry.
A halo around the Moon predicts wet or stormy weather.