December – The Cold Moon

Hey, everyone. It’s hard to believe we’re at the twelfth and final post in a series on Native American names for full moons. If you’ve missed any of the others, here’s the list.

December Cold Moon
A December Full Moon

The December full moon is aptly named the Cold Moon. This is the month when winter fastens its grip and the nights become long and dark.

Interesting Facts

  • Other names for the December full moon include the Long Night Moon, the Little Spirit Moon, and Hoar Frost Moon.
  • The full moon was believed to make people go crazy. The word “lunatic” was used to describe a person who was considered mentally ill, dangerous, foolish, or unpredictable – conditions once attributed to lunacy. The word derives from the Latin word “lunaticus” meaning “moonstruck.”
  • Winter moons often seem the brighter. This is because the earth is closer to the sun during the winter months.
  • A ring around the moon is an indication rain will soon occur. This isn’t just weatherlore, but due to a reflection of light on ice crystals in thin wispy cirrus clouds.
  • The full moon is often thought of as an event of a full night’s duration, but this is misleading because the Moon seen from Earth is continuously becoming larger or smaller (though much too slowly to notice with the naked eye). Its absolute maximum size occurs at the moment when the expansion has stopped.
  • This year’s Cold Moon occurred Saturday, December 18.
  • The Winter Solstice is Tuesday, December 21.


It is lucky to hold a moonstone in your mouth at the full moon; it will reveal the future.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series of posts about the names of the moons. I certainly enjoyed writing them and hate to see this time come to an end. However, I have something new planned for 2022.

Do you have a favorite moon name or season? Please share in the comments. And now, I’ll leave you with a video.

38 thoughts on “December – The Cold Moon

  1. I’ve really appreciated this series, Joan, and learned so much. I now live in an area where the night sky is extraordinary, and I follow the moon through its cycle. Thank you for sharing as you have and Merry Christmas. ✨✨✨

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I had fun researching and writing this series, Teri. For years I’d heard about the ring around the moon meaning rain and figured it was an old wives tale. Imagine my surprise when I learned there are scientific reasons for that happening.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad I’ve gotten back into my blog reading! Looks like I need to go back and catch up on this series. Such a great idea, Joan! Thanks so much for enlightening us!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved this series, Joan, being a fellow moon lover. The cold moon was spectacular this year as it rose above the trees. I wish I’d gotten a picture.

    Liked by 2 people

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