The full Wolf Moon rises on Thursday, January 28, 2021. Learn more about when, where, and how to see the January full Moon!
When to See January’s Full Moon
January’s full Wolf Moon reaches peak illumination on Thursday, January 28, at 2:18 P.M. EST. However, the Moon won’t be visible until it rises above the horizon around sunset that evening.
Consult our Moonrise Calculator to see what time you can expect to catch a glimpse of the first full Moon of 2021!
The sunset embers smolder low,
The Moon climbs o’er the hill,
The peaks have caught the alpenglow,
The robin’s song is still.
–John L. Stoddard (1850–1931)
Why Is It Called the Full Wolf Moon?
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.
Moon Phases for January 2021
Below are the dates and times (in Eastern Time) of the Moon’s phases in December. See our Moon Phase Calendar for times in your city/state.
|Last Quarter: January 6, 4:38 A.M.|
|New Moon: January 13, 12:02 A.M.|
|First Quarter: January 20, 4:03 P.M.|
|Full Moon: January 28, 2:18 P.M.|
When is the next full Moon? See our Full Moon Dates chart.
January Full Wolf Moon Video
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 the video.
Best Days in January 2021
Aboveground crops: 16, 17, 26, 27
Belowground crops: 7, 8
For Setting Eggs
5, 6, 22, 23
See all our Best Days for various activities.
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.
Share your thoughts about this month’s full Moons below. Tell us if we’re missing anything that you would like to know!