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The Full Moon In December: Here's When The "Cold Moon" Rises

Here’s what you need to know about the chilliest moon of 2022.

A full moon over a snowy mountaintop.
Matthew Allen / EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images

This time of year is always so wild and hectic; with the holiday season in full swing and kids having multiple breaks from school, it’s hard to catch a breath. Your holiday calendar might already be filled up, but there’s another event you’ll want to pencil in, especially if you and the kids love watching sky shows and are fascinated with the Moon.

The Cold Moon is coming up in a few short days, rising in early December. Here’s what you need to know.

What is a Cold Moon?

We call the December Full Moon the Cold Moon for, well, the chilly month it rises in, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. The name comes from “Native American, Colonial American, or other traditional sources passed down through generations.”

The Full Moon in December has a few different names too, including the Hay Moon, Buck Moon, Thunder Moon, and Mead Moon, explains.

The Cold Moon honors the cold temperatures and weather when winter really comes in.

When and how can I watch the Cold Moon?

The Farmer’s Almanac says the Cold Moon will reach peak illumination on Dec. 7 at around 11:09 PM EST.

“Start looking for the full Moon just before sunset as it begins to peek above the horizon,” the site explains. With the peak being late at night but not in the middle of the night, it could be a really good Moon to watch with the kids. Just make sure to bundle up, and maybe grab a cup of hot chocolate, because it’s called the Cold Moon for a reason.

“December’s full Moon has a high trajectory in the sky, which means it will be above the horizon for longer than most full Moons.”

Check out the Almanac’s Moonrise Calculator to find the best time to catch the moon in your area.

Next for the Full Moon is January’s Wolf Moon.