January Full Moon: Wolf Moon in Northern Hemisphere

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The first full moon of 2021 in the northern hemisphere is called the Wolf Moon. The January full moon that we know as the wolf moon will occur on Thursday, January 28, 2021, at 7:18 P.M. UTC. Not to mention, in the Earth’s northern areas, the full moon of this month is also known as the Winter Moon, Old Moon, Ice Moon, etc.

On the contrary, for the people living in the southern hemisphere; let’s say for Australian or South African people, they call the full moon in the month of January the Buck Moon. Wanna know why different full moon names in the different hemispheres and many more interesting facts about the Full Moon in January 2021? I would suggest you keep reading! Let’s dive right in!

Wolf Moon Facts

This article is especially related to the January full moon name in accordance with the full moon calendar of the northern hemisphere.

However, if you wanna know about the full moon name with respect to the southern hemisphere, You can check this article.


Why Different Full Moon Names in Different Hemisphere?

Well, without wasting any more time, let me give you the exact reason behind it. Just because there is an approx 6 months of seasonal difference, the people living above and below the equator use different full moon names.

When there is the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, there is the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere. Pic credit: Wikimedia Commons

Obviously, now you would be thinking that what could be the reason behind the seasonal difference between the two hemispheres?

Highly recommended: Full Moon Calendar 2021 (Dates & Names – Southern Hemisphere)

Just because the earth has an axial tilt of 23.4 degrees, there is a seasonal mismatch between the southern and the northern hemisphere. See the above image for proper understanding.

However, If you want to know more about the earth’s tilt and how it affects the seasons on the earth, you can check this article. I can bet you will love this piece of article.


Different Full Moon Names for Northern Hemisphere

For millennia, ancient humans have used different seasons as a guide to track the different full moon phases. Or, you can say for millennia, humans have used the full moon phases to track the changing season.

Highly recommended: Full Moon Calendar 2021 (Dates & Names – Northern Hemisphere)

Just to clarify, seasons are not the only possible way to provide different full moon names. I mean the names given to the various full moon phases are based upon a couple of different sources. In other words, different people have given different full moon names depending upon their native place or their cultural lifestyle.

In fact, even mythological characters had played their role in the naming of the full moon phases. Out of all, the most famous, and, of course, widely acknowledged full moon names came from the tribes of native American culture.

Must read: 8 Lunar Phases – From New Moon to Full Moon to New Moon

As per the legends, in order to keep track of changing seasons, the Algonquin tribal people used to follow the lunar calendar rather than following the solar calendar. These full moon names were adopted by Colonial Americans and European settlers. Later with time, these names were integrated with the modern (Georgian calendar) calendar.

Did You Know?

Generally, there are 12 full moons in one year corresponding to each month. But, sometimes there are 13 full moons in a calendar year (like in the year 2020). In that case, the additional full moon is known as the blue moon.


January Full Moon: Wolf Moon in Northern Hemisphere

In the northern hemisphere or the so-called western world, the full moon in January 2021 is known as the Full Wolf Moon or Wolf Moon. WHY?

Because according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, it has been historically said that during the month of January, especially around the full moon, the native American people would hear wolves howling at the moon. Hence, the full moon in this month is famously known as the Wolf Moon or simply the moon of the wolf.

Wolf Moon Facts

Why do wolves howl at the full moon?

Well, as per the research, there is no scientific relation between the howling of the wolf and the moon. In fact, as per the Smithsonian Institution, it is a myth that wolves howl at the moon!

Howling may be heard at night, but it is not a behavior directed at the moon. Instead, it is used as a social rally call, a hail to hunt, or as a territorial expression.



Other Cultural Full Moon Names for January 2021

Well, if you go somewhere away from your native place, you will see that local indigenous people have their own indigenous full moon names. For example:

  • In Indian Culture, the full moon in January is known as Paush Purnima. Not to mention, the full moon in Hindi is known as Purnima.
  • Chinese people call January full moon a Holiday Moon.
  • Neo Pegan people call it the Ice Moon.
  • Cherokee tribe people call it the Cold Moon.
  • Choctaw tribe people call it the Cooking Moon, etc.

Check out: Hindu Full Moon Calendar 2021 (Purnima Dates, Names & Moon Sign)

When is the Next Full Moon in January 2021?

The next full moon will occur on Thursday, January 28, 2021, at 7:18 P.M. UTC. It will be known as the full wolf moon. Okay, for the northerners, it will be Wolf Moon. And, for the southerner, it will be a Buck Moon.

Not to mention, on this day, the moon will be in Leo. At last, I wish you good luck with this epic moon gazing. And, do let me know about your amazing experience in the comment section.

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I am a mechanical engineer by profession. Just because of my love for fundamental physics, I switched my career, and therefore I did my postgraduate degree in physics. Right now I am a loner (as ever) and a Physics blogger too. My sole future goal is to do a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, especially in the field of cosmology. Because in my view, every aspect of physics comes within the range of cosmology. And I love traveling, especially the Sole one.

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