Mental Floss

The Wolf Moon, the First Full Moon of 2021, Is Coming in January

Michele Debczak
samer daboul, Pexels
samer daboul, Pexels / samer daboul, Pexels

If you're looking for more ways to celebrate the new year, you'll have an opportunity on January 28. The first full moon of 2021 will illuminate the skies that Thursday night. Before looking up to see the wolf moon over your backyard, familiarize yourself with the annual celestial event.

What Is a Full Wolf Moon?

A wolf moon is the first (and in most years, the only) full moon to occur in January. The name comes from the fact that wolves were thought to howl more frequently during the first month of the year. Other names for January's full moon—like cold moon and severe moon—reference the hash weather of the season. The Assiniboine people called it the center moon because the event was recognized as the midpoint of winter, according to The Old Farmer's Almanac.

When to See the Full Wolf Moon

This year, the full wolf moon falls on Thursday, January 28. The moon will reach peak fullness at 7:16 p.m. UTC, or 2:16 p.m. EST. If the moon isn't visible in your part of the world at that time, wait until sunset. The celestial body will still look especially large and bright throughout the night.

The full wolf moon is one of many exciting lunar events to look forward to in 2021. After catching this one, mark your calendar for February 27—that's when February's snow moon is set to appear.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]