On Wednesday (Dec. 7) the moon will reach its full moon phase as December's aptly-named Cold Moon, the final full moon of 2022, rises for most of the night. 

The Cold Moon rises above the horizon at around sunset and sets at sunrise reaching peak illumination at around 11:09 p.m. EST (0409 GMT) according to Farmer's Almanac. (opens in new tab) December's Cold Moon has a higher trajectory than most, which means it will stay above the horizon for longer than many full moons.

In the build-up to the Cold Moon, the moon has risen an hour earlier each day. Following the full moon and leading to the new moon and the next lunar cycle the moon will rise an hour later each day and will be visible for less and less of the night.

A week after the full moon when the moon is in its last quarter phase, it will rise around midnight and set around noon. By the time of the new moon, the moon rises at sunrise and sets at sunset.

As the times of the rising and setting of the moon change from the full moon to the new moon, the illuminated face of the moon recedes. This goes from fully illuminated during tonight's full moon to half-illuminated during the final quarter moon, then to fully dark during the new moon. 

The name for December's full moon, the Cold Moon, is attributed to the tradition of the Mohawk people, according to the Farmer's Almanac (opens in new tab). The name reflects the frigid conditions of December and the increasing grip of winter.

Other names for December's full moon also reflect icy conditions and the deepening of winter. These include the Snow Moon from the Haida and Cherokee traditions and the Western Abenaki people's Winter Maker Moon. 

Alternative names for the Cold Moon describe the effects of winter on the environment and nature. These include the Cree's Frost Exploding Trees Moon and the Moon of the Popping Trees from the Oglala people. These nature-based names include the Dakota people's name for the December full moon, the Moon When the Deer Shed Their Antlers.

Some names for the December full moon relate to other observations of the period surrounding this full moon, such as the Mohican name for this full moon, the Long Night Moon, which references the fact it rises on the nights close to the winter solstice which are the longest nights of the years.

December Full Moon Names From Native American Tribes Kaitvitjuitk (Inuit). Cold Moon (Celtic). Night Moon (Taos). Respect Moon (Hopi). Bitter Moon (Chinese). Peach Moon (Choctaw). Twelfth Moon (Dakotah). Big Winter Moon (Creek) Real Goose Moon (Kiowa). Cold Time Moon (Mohawk). Ashes Fire Moon (San Juan). Oak Moon (Medieval English). Big BearĂ¢€™s Moon (Winnebago). Long Night Moon (Neo-Pagan). Popping Trees Moon (Arapaho). Running Wolves Moon (Cheyenne). Frost Fish Moon (Passamaquoddy). Cold Moon, Long Nights Moon (Algonquin). Snow Moon, Before Yule Moon (Cherokee). Oak Moon : Full, : Snow Moon Dark (Janic). Popping Tress Moon, Deer Horn Shedding Moon (Sioux).

Other moon names : Wolf Moon, Turning Moon, Heavy Snow Moon, Aerra Geola, Under Burn Moon, Big Winter Moon, Winter Maker Moon, Yellow Leaves Moon, Little Finger Moon, Mid-Winter Moon, Wintermonat, Small Spirits Moon.


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