Hey, everyone. Hope the first part of this new year have been good for you. It’s no secret that I have a fascination with full moons. I think it runs in the family. My brother once hiked through Grand Canyon by the light of a full August moon.
Also, the original concept for my upcoming Legends of Madeira series was inspired by, you guessed it, the moon. I thought it would be fun to feature a monthly post with some facts, myths, or maybe even a legend or two.
For years, I’d heard the term Harvest Moon, but did you know Native Americans had names for each of the full moons? These varied from tribe to tribe and were often relative to the area in which they lived. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, these names traditionally applied to the entire lunar month, beginning with either the new or full moon.
January is known as the Wolf Moon. This has nothing to do with mythical werewolves. It came about because on cold January nights, packs of wolves are often heard. It was once thought wolves howled because they were hungry. However, wolves use howls to define their territory, locate members of their pack, and gather for hunting.
- Like their canine ancestors, domestic dogs are known to bark and howl more during the full moon. They might also be more aggressive. A study carried out by a teaching hospital in the United Kingdom found dog bites are often twice as common during a full moon than on other nights.
- Many people claim to see images on the lunar surfaces, such as animals or human faces. (Ever heard of “The man in the Moon?”) These images are composed of the dark areas of the lunar plains and the lighter highlands of the lunar surface.
- The full moon occurs this month on Thursday, January 28.
According to the Menominee The Sun, and his sister The Moon, lived together in the East. One day Sun left to go hunting and was gone for a long time. As the days passed Moon became worried and went into the sky to search for him. After twenty days of searching, she died but returned to life after four days to resume her search for another twenty days.
The four days of death are thought to coincide with the dark phase of the new moon, while the twenty days before and after are a reference to the waxing and waning phases.
I hope you’ll enjoy this monthly series. Next month is the shortest of the year, but moon-wise February has a unique distinction from all other months.
Interested in learning more? Check back then.