December Full Moon: Time, Date, and Name

~4 min

The last Full Moon of the year is about to climb the sky. Find out when the December Moon appears in full brightness and what it is traditionally called.


What time is the Full Moon in December 2024?

Our natural satellite will reach the Full Moon phase on December 15, 2024, at 09:02 GMT (04:02 a.m. EST). The Moon will be located in the constellation Gemini. This Full Moon will be the last before the December solstice, which makes it the last Full Moon of this astronomical season.

Moon phases for December 2024

  • New Moon: December 1, 06:21 GMT (01:21 a.m. EST);
  • First Quarter Moon: December 8, 15:27 GMT (10:57 a.m. EST);
  • Full Moon: December 15, 09:02 GMT (04:02 a.m. EST).
  • Last Quarter Moon: December 22, 22:18 GMT (05:18 p.m. EST);
  • New Moon: December 30, 22:27 GMT (05:27 p.m. EST).

Visit the new Moon Phases section on our website. There, you can check out the monthly lunar calendar and find out the Moon phase for any specific day, as well as the moonrise and moonset times.

What time does the Full Moon rise?

The Full Moon will rise at sunset and stay in the sky all night until the morning. To find out the exact moonrise time for your location, check our Moon Calendar section, or use a stargazing app like Star Walk 2 or Sky Tonight.

In Star Walk 2:

  • Tap the menu icon in the lower right corner of the main screen and tap “Sky Live” to open the corresponding window.
  • In the upper right corner, tap the date stamp and change the date to December 15, 2024.
  • On the screen, you’ll see the exact timings when the Moon and other sky objects rise and set for your location.

In Sky Tonight:

  • Tap the calendar icon at the bottom of the main screen.
  • Tap the tab “Moon” at the top of the screen.
  • Tap on December 15.
  • You’ll see the moonrise and moonset times along with other useful information.

How long does a Full Moon last?

Astronomically speaking, the Full Moon is the exact moment when the Moon reaches opposition to the Sun in the sky. But for the observers, the lunar disk will appear full and bright for one day before and after it. The December Full Moon is also the closest to the solstice. At this time of the year, the Northern Hemisphere experiences long winter nights, which give observers from that part of the world even more time to enjoy the Full Moon.

What is the bright dot next to the Moon tonight?

Here are some bright objects that you can find near the Moon around its full phase:

  • On December 13, the Moon will pass within 0°6' of the naked-eye star cluster Pleiades (mag 1.2), making it one of the closest approaches of the year.
  • On December 17, the Moon will pass close to the bright star Pollux (mag 1.2). The distance between them will be 2°0'.
  • On December 18, the Moon will pass as close as 0°54' to Mars (mag 1.4). From some locations, such as Canada and eastern Russia, the Moon will even pass in front of Mars, creating a lunar occultation of the planet.

If you want to learn about other bright stars and planets visible near the Moon, read our dedicated article.

What is the December Full Moon 2024 name?

The most common traditional name for the Full Moon in December is Cold Moon. To learn more folklore names for every Full Moon in a year, take a look at our Full Moon calendar.

Full Moons in 2024
When is the next Full Moon in 2024? When is the Super Blue Moon this year? Check our Full Moon calendar for all dates, times, names, Supermoons, and more for the year.
See Infographic

What is a Cold Moon?

The name Cold Moon originates from Mohawk Native American culture and implies that the temperatures drop significantly at that time. American Indian tribes associated the name of the Full Moon with the entire month until the next Full Moon, so the Mohawk name also means “time of the cold.”

December Full Moon Alternative Names

In the Northern Hemisphere, the December Full Moon is the closest to the winter solstice that marks the longest night of the year. That’s why another popular name for it is Long Night Moon. The winter solstice was celebrated as the Yule festival in the Anglo-Saxon tradition, so one more Full Moon’s name is the Moon Before Yule.

In the Southern Hemisphere, December is a warm month, and the traditional Full Moon’s names were connected to the summer season, like Strawberry Moon.

Here are some more examples of the December Full Moon names in different cultures:

  • Chinese: Bitter Moon
  • English Medieval: Oak Moon
  • Cherokee: Snow Moon
  • Colonial American: Christmas Moon
  • Southern Hemisphere: Strawberry Moon, Honey Moon, Rose Moon

Mourning Moon 2024

Being the last Full Moon before the winter solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere), the Full Moon in December 2024 can be referred to as Mourning Moon. This is the Full Moon’s name in the Pagan tradition. For the pagans, it represents the time to get rid of old things and ideas that are weighing you down, while allowing yourself to mourn them gone.

When is the next Cold Moon?

In 2024, the Cold Moon will occur on December 15, 2024, at 09:02 GMT (04:02 a.m. EST). After that, the next Cold Moon will occur on December 4, 2025, at 23:14 GMT (6:14 p.m. EST).

When is the next Full Moon after the Cold Moon 2024?

The next Full Moon will already be in the year 2025. It will occur on January 13, at 22:27 GMT (5:27 p.m. EST). The traditional January Full Moon name is Wolf Moon.

Full Moon in December 2024: key facts

The last Full Moon of the year 2024 will be the Full Moon on December 15. It’s traditionally called the Cold Moon because of the harsh weather in December in the Northern Hemisphere. Don’t miss one of the last celestial shows in 2024, and follow us on social media to keep abreast of the exciting astronomical events that will occur in 2025.

We wish you clear skies and successful observations!