The 2010s are coming to a close, and what better send off is there for the last 10 years than watching the last full moon of the decade? Whether you’re cleansing your crystals, setting your intentions for the new year, saying goodbye to the decade or howling at it (we won’t judge), here’s how to see the moon while it’s full and bright in December. (Feel free to pass this information onto Khloé Kardashian, who is so hyped for the last full moon of 2019 she posted the below in her Instagram stories.)
What is the December full moon called?
Every full moon has its own name—last month’s was called the Beaver Moon—and December’s is incredibly appropriate for the season. If you’re looking at a full moon in January, you’re actually looking at the Wolf Moon. In February, the full moon is called the Snow Moon. In March, you’re staring up at the Worm Moon—which seems slightly less romantic. In April, we had a Pink Moon, the Flower Moon in May, Strawberry Moon in June and in July, a Buck Moon.
According to NASA, Algonquin tribes located in what is now the northeast of the United States named the full moon in December the Cold Moon because, as is typical of December, it signifies the cold nights of the winter ahead. The Native American tribes didn’t leave much to interpretation, did they?
What’s the spiritual meaning of the full Cold Moon?
The traditional European name for the December full moon is the Oak Moon, named after the tradition of harvesting mistletoe, not for hanging in doorways and catching unsuspecting couples, but because it was a plant that stayed green regardless of the cold. Mistletoe is a symbol of resilience, much like the oak trees it grows on.
Oak trees are symbols of strength, which is why it is thought that the Europeans named the full moon after the tree—it signaled that they would need strength and endurance in the winter months to come.
When is the full moon this month?
Pull out your trusty moon calendars and mark the date: The last full moon of 2019 will occur just after midnight on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, at 12:12 a.m. EST. Can’t catch it early on Thursday morning? Not to worry! The Cold Moon will appear full through Friday morning. Run, don’t moon walk, to get a glimpse!
When’s the next full moon?
Not going to be able to catch the last full moon of the decade? Welcome in 2020 and the start of a brand new decade with January’s full moon, the Wolf Moon, on January 10. (And plan the rest of your full moon observations by bookmarking this moon calendar.)