Two Origins of the Wolf Moon

The Full Wolf Moon, the first full moon of 2013, will be bright tonight (January 26) at 11:38 p.m. EST.

Many American Full Moon names come from 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, often based on what they were seeing in nature year after year.

Some tribes named the first moon of the year the Full Wolf Moon if they lived in an area where wolf packs might have howled hungrily outside their villages in the heart of winter. It is also called the Old Moon or the Moon after Yule.

But I did find other sources that say that Wolf Moon comes from the ancient Scottish Gaelic word for January, Faoilleach, which means “wolf month.”

Romancing the Bee

full wolf moon

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…

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Ken

A lifelong educator on and off the Internet. Random by design and predictably irrational. It's turtles all the way down. Dolce far niente.

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