The Full Wolf Moon, the first full moon of 2013, will light up the night sky tonight (Jan. 26) at 11:38 p.m. EST.
According the the Farmers Almanac, full moon names date back to Native American tribes of a few hundred years ago who lived in what is now the northern and eastern United States. Those tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full moon.
The Farmers Almanac states that Indians named the first moon of the year the Full Wolf Moon because of the wolf packs that howled hungrily outside their villages in the heart of winter. It is also called the Old Moon or the Moon after Yule.
Other sources disagree and allege that “Full Wolf Moon” comes from the ancient Scottish Gaelic word for January, Faoilleach, which means “wolf month”.
Whatever the derivation, few would disagree that Full Wolf Moon is a good name for the moon that illuminates the frosty white nights of midwinter.
- The First Full Moon of the Year Is the Poet’s Moon (paradelle.wordpress.com)
- The Beaver Moon (romancingthebee.com)
- Full Cold Moon (romancingthebee.com)
- Moon Swoon: How 2013’s Full Moons Got Their Peculiar Names (space.com)
- Moon (createdavidt.com)