The December Full Moon is traditionally known as the Cold Moon, as winter sets in. It is also known as the Long Nights Moon, or the Moon before Yule, after the ancient pagan festival.
The ancients held in high regard the Full Moon of December since it was the last Full Moon of the year and the last Full Moon before Yule. Yule is the ancient celebration around the winter solstice.
This Moon naturally held many names throughout history, and several cultures have attributed different meanings to it. Some other festivals are related to this Moon, so let’s dive in and explore the December Full Moon.
Other Names for the December Full Moon
Most names associated with the December Full Moon are attributed to the low temperatures or the darkness that December brings with it. The Anglo-Saxons referred to this Moon as the Moon Before Yule, their most sacred festival.
This Moon is also known as the Oak Moon, an old European name related to ancient druid traditions of harvesting mistletoe from oak trees, while the Celts called it the Wolf Moon, though this name is more commonly applied to January’s Full Moon.
Some other names for December’s Full Moon include Long Night’s Moon, Drift Clearing Moon, Frost Exploding Trees Moon, Hoar Frost Moon, Little Spirit Moon, Mid-winter Moon, Moon of the Popping Trees, Moon When the Deer Shed their Antlers, Snow Moon, or Winter Maker Moon, among many others.
In the southern hemisphere, where the seasons are opposite, the December Full Moon is known as Strawberry Moon, Honey Moon, or even Rose Moon.
December Full Moon Festivals
The Full Moon of December is associated with many festivals and ancient traditions throughout the world. Probably the most famous is the ancient European festival of Yule.
This festival was associated with reincarnation and the celebration of the ancestors. Even to this day, the initiated still celebrate Yule, as opposed to Christmas.
In Sri Lanka, the Full Moon of December is known as Uduvapa Poya, Uposatha Poya, or Sanghamitta Day. It is a festival celebrating a tree planted in 288 BCE, which was then a sapling from the sacred Bodhi Tree in the city of Anuradhapura. It was planted by the princess Sanghamitta, who helped to spread the teachings of Buddha throughout Sri Lanka.
This festival is quite similar to some ancient druidic festivals. The princess Sanghamitta was the eldest daughter of the famous emperor Ashoka.
A festival of lights known as the Karthikai Deepam, or the Karthikai Vilakkidu, or Karthikai Thrikarthika, is celebrated by the Hindus of Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka.
This occurs when the December Full Moon lines up with the Pleiades constellation.
What Date is the December Full Moon in 2020?
In 2020, the December Full Moon will occur on December 29 at 10:28 pm / 22:28. It will be a Full Cold Moon, ending quite a tumultuous year.
What Date is the December Full Moon in 2021?
In 2021, the Full Cold Moon, or December Full Moon, will occur on December 19, at 07:37 am.
What Does the December Full Moon Symbolize?
The December Full Moon is associated with many traditions and religious customs around the world. Since it is the last Full Moon of any year, many have attributed great significance to this Moon.
One such festival is the old Yule festival, which is now known as Christmas. The ancients didn’t cut down trees during this time, as we do now, they would honor their ancestors, and for them, everything was related to reincarnation during this ritual.
What is the Spiritual Meaning of the December Full Moon?
The December Full Moon’s spiritual meaning is related to many things, such as reincarnation, hope, eternity, clarity, and many more things.
It is a period of time when we look back at what we have achieved, and it’s all about moving on, but never forgetting, cherishing our loved ones, honoring our ancestors, and embracing continuity.
What is the Moon Schedule for 2020?
In 2020 we will have 13 Full Moons, and some of them are Supermoons. Here is the list of when they will occur:
- January 10 – 2:21 pm / 14:21 Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse
- February 9 – 2:33 am / 02:33 Full Snow Moon
- March 9 – 1:48 pm / 13:48 Super Worm Moon
- April 7 – 10:35 pm / 22:35 Super Pink Moon
- May 7 – 6:45 am / 06:45 Flower Supermoon
- June 5 – 3:12 pm / 15:12 Full Strawberry Moon
- July 5 – 12:44 am / 12:44, Full Buck Moon
- August 3 – 11:59 am / 11:59 Full Sturgeon Moon
- September 2 – 1:22 am / 01:22 Full Corn Moon
- October 1 – 5:05 pm / 17:05 Full Harvest Moon
- October 31 – 9:49 am / 09:49 Full Hunter’s Moon
- November 30 – 4:30 am / 04:30 Full Beaver Moon
- December 29 – 10:28 pm / 22:28 Full Cold Moon
What is the Moon Schedule for 2021?
In 2021 we will have only 12 Full Moons, and here is when they will occur:
- January 28 – Full Wolf Moon
- February 27 – Full Snow moon
- March 28 – Full worm moon
- April 27 – Full Pink Moon
- May 26 – Full Flower Moon
- June 24 – Full Strawberry Moon
- July 24 – Full Buck Moon
- August 22 – Full Sturgeon Moon
- September 21 – Full Corn moon
- October 20 – Full Hunter’s Moon
- November 19 – Full Beaver Moon
- December 19 – Full Cold Moon
Did you know?
- The Chinese know this Full Moon as Chang’ e Moon, named after a goddess, and a name also applied to the lunar missions conducted by the Chinese.
- The December Full Moon falls in the eleventh month of the Chinese calendar and Kislev in the Hebrew calendar. Hanukkah begins on the 25th of Kislev.
- The December Full Moon occasionally occurs during the Rabi’ al-Thani – the Islamic calendar’s fourth month.
- Some cultures across the world wear suitable celebratory celestial attire in honor of the December Full Moon.