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December: Cold Moon

In December, when winter sets in the Northern Hemisphere, the Full Moon is called the Cold Moon. It is also called Long Nights Moon, and the Moon before Yule.

Moonrise over alpine peaks in Utah.

A Cold Moon rising over the mountains. The December Full Moon is named after the cold temperatures of winter.

©iStockphoto.com/panaramka

Cold Moon 2024

Dec 15, 2024 at 4:01 am

Cold Moon 2025

Dec 4, 2025 at 6:14 pm

Times for the Cold Moon vary by time zone. Times and dates are based on the local time in Washington DC. Change location

Named after the Cold Setting In

December is the month when winter truly begins in large parts of the Northern Hemisphere. Most of the ancient Full Moon names are related to the low temperatures and darkness at this time of year—the Celts called it the Cold Moon or the Full Cold Moon.

Is December really cold? Well that depends of course on the climate where you live.

Ancient Solstice Celebration

The Old English and Anglo-Saxon names of the December Full Moon are the Moon Before Yule and the Long Night Moon. Both names refer to the winter solstice, and the ancient celebration of Yule. Another Celtic name is the Oak Moon.

12 Full Moon Names

The Full Moon has been integral to tracking the change of months and seasons since ancient times.

Today, we use many of these ancient month names as Full Moon names, and many of them come from Colonial Americans adopting Native American names into their calendars.

Although the most commonly used Full Moon names are English interpretations of Native American names, some are also Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, medieval English, and Neo-Pagan.

Topics: Moon, December, Solstice, Seasons, Full Moon Names