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.

Moon phase today

waning moon

Waning Gibbous

Next full moons

  • 25th March, 2024 March, 2024 full moon
  • 23rd April, 2024 April, 2024 full moon
  • 23rd May, 2024 May, 2024 full moon
  • 22nd June, 2024 June, 2024 full moon
  • 21st July, 2024 July, 2024 full moon
  • 19th August, 2024 August, 2024 full moon