December - The Cold Moon

December's full moon has a clear and simple name. In most of the northern hemisphere, December heralds the start of the real winter weather. Frost, ice and snow cover the ground in many places, glowing under the light of the "Cold Moon".

Cold moon

Often, the Cold Moon is also the "Mourning Moon". In Celtic tradition, this is the last full moon before the Winter Solstice (21 or 22 December), and can occasionally fall in late November rather than December. This moon was celebrated as a time for cleansing and change. The Anglo Saxons called it the "Moon before Yule" after their Solstice celebrations.

Of course, this is the time of year when we see the moon the most, as days are short and nights are long. Another Celtic name is "Long Night Moon". We also occasionally hear "Oak Moon", after the tree that was so sacred to the Druids, and also "Wolf Moon" (although the latter is also used for January).

What did the Native Americans call December's full moon? It ranges from "Snow Moon" to "Evergreen Moon", and the simple "Big Winter Moon". However, like their European counterparts, most Americans used the Cold Moon.

Current moon phase

waxing moon

First Quarter

Next full moons

  • 5th February, 2023 February, 2023 full moon
  • 7th March, 2023 March, 2023 full moon
  • 6th April, 2023 April, 2023 full moon
  • 5th May, 2023 May, 2023 full moon
  • 4th June, 2023 June, 2023 full moon
  • 3rd July, 2023 July, 2023 full moon