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Full Moon (Cold Moon)

"Oh, I'm being followed by a moonshadow ...
moon shadow, moonshadow,
Leaping and hopping on a moonshadow ...
moonshadow, moonshadow"

~ Cat Stevens (1971)

Over many centuries, this full moon has been called several names: Cold Moon, Dark Night Moon, Birch Moon, or Bitter Moon. Native American tribes also named these winter moons the Drift Clearing Moon (Cree), Frost Exploding Trees Moon (Cree), Moon of the Popping Trees (Oglala), Hoar Frost Moon (Cree), Snow Moon (Haida, Cherokee), and Winter Maker Moon (Western Abenaki).

It will be 2029 before another Cold Moon occurs this close to the winter solstice. 🌔

The Cold Moon, also known as Cold Full Moon, Long Night Moon (by some Native American tribes) or the Moon Before Yule (from the Anglo-Saxon lunar calendar) is December's winter moon close to the winter solstice.

Superstitions abound with the full moon:

  • A child born on the day of the full moon will have a long, healthy, prosperous life.

  • If you fall ill on the day of the full moon, you may be sick for a long time

  • Starting a business on the day of the full moon will bring you luck.

  • Sleeping outdoors under a full moon was once believed to put you in danger of becoming either blind or insane.

  • Look at the full moon and jingle the coins in your pocket to increase your wealth.

This tartan, designed by Carol A.L. Martin, was inspired by the shadows falling on the snow during a full moon.

For more winter and night sky photography, click the Moon Shadows photo by Veronika Pike.