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December Moon

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Today marks the coming of December’s Full Moon. Voting for our “Name That Moon” contest for November just ended on Monday night. Reader Marlene Fitzgerald won with her submission “Full Glad Tidings Moon.”

I think “glad tidings” is a fitting, and festive, name as we head into the holiday season. No matter your culture or religion, nearly everyone celebrates something at this time of year. The deep dark of winter marks a time for families and friends to come together and dispel the darkness with the light and warmth of laughter and good company.

The new name joins, rather than replaces, two traditional Full Moon names for December — Full Cold Moon and Full Long Nights Moon. These two names are also fitting, because December is the month when winter cold truly begins to fasten its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest.

This month, there will actually be two Full Moons. The second, which will occur on New Year’s Eve, is referred to as a “Blue Moon,” the name traditionally given when two Full Moons occur during the same month. Blue Moons happen only once every 2 1/2 to 3 years, which is why the phrase “once in a Blue Moon” refers to rare events.

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Be sure to visit our “Name That Moon” Contest page to submit your Full Moon names for January. The submission period ends on Dec. 14. After that, we’ll put our four favorite out for your votes.

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1 farmerej { 03.26.10 at 2:05 pm }

The name Full Cold Moon is from the Old Wisconsin Potawatomi Indians.

2 Fred Thompson { 12.02.09 at 5:06 pm }

I hope Farmers Almanac will move away from using the term “Blue Moon” since this is in error. Even your own page describing what is a Blue moon indicates it was redefined from the real traditional meaning back in the 40’s because of an error. We should come up with a proper name for the 2nd full moon in a month, but it shouldn’t be “Blue”. Let’s correct this misuse of the term before it spreads even further.

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