The year’s first Full Moon is also known as the “Wolf Moon” will occur in India on Tuesday, January 18 while for the rest of the world the moon will shine the brightest on January 17, according to The Old farmer’s Almanac. Across the globe, the year’s first brightest moon will be viewed between January 16, 17, and 18, as a huge full-looking moon will light the nighttime from dusk until dawn positioned directly opposite the sun, approximately 180 degrees from the sun in ecliptic longitude. Here’s all about the 2022 January’s full moon which will be the first of the Northern Hemisphere winter season and Southern Hemisphere summer season.
Cultural significance and science behind it
The first full moon of 2022 earns its name from various mythologies including the “Native American, Colonial American, and European sources.” It is dubbed as Wolf Moon because “wolves were more likely to be heard howling at this time” when the moon is the biggest and the brightest in the night sky. In India, the Full Wolf Moon signifies the Shakambhari Purnima in the Hindu calendar, the last day of the eight-day Shakambari Navratri festival that commemorates the goddess Shakambhari. Christians witness the Moon after the Yule festival, and in Myanmar, the moon marks the Ananda Pagoda Festival, a week-long celebration of a Buddhist temple established in 1105 A.D. at Bagan.
“It was traditionally believed that wolves howled due to hunger during winter, but we know today that wolves howl for different reasons,” The Old Famer’s Almanac notes. “Howling and other wolf vocalizations are generally used to define territory, locate pack members, reinforce social bonds, and coordinate hunting.” While there are some interesting mythological angles, this moon is also the harbinger of the seasonal changes in the night sky and has a Hopi name paamuya or Moon of Life at its Height. This also means that the moon will follow the path of the sun six months from this month onwards.
When is the Wolf Moon in 2022 in India, and other parts?
The Wolf Moon will rise on Jan. 17 at 6:48 pm EST in the US and other Western countries at 15:48 PST. In India, it will be visible on January 18, 2022, from 05:18 am IST onwards. The sky gazers can also look for Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky that will rise by the late evening in the constellation of Gemini. The Full Wolf Moon will be 100% illuminated by the Sun. One can check out the exact moonrise time for your location here.
How to view the Wolf Moon? Tips
The Full Wolf moon will be visible in India from 05:18 a.m. IST and can be seen in the sky with the naked eye. The Moon will look mostly full and the brightest for the days leading up to the peak. No telescope or binoculars is needed to spot the Full Moon. The view will be clear from any location that does not have too much artificial city lighting. The moon will be shining six times brighter than a half-moon and will be the second brightest object than the Sun. It will, though, appear with the orangish hue which will transform to brighter yellow as the moon peaks in the night sky. NASA adds that the Moon will “appear full for about three days through Wednesday morning.”