Full Moon for December 2020

Bundle Up for December's Full Cold Moon!

November 29, 2020
Full Cold Moon - OFA

December’s full Moon rises on Tuesday, December 29, 2020. The Old Farmer’s Almanac will reveal everything you need to know about the Cold Moon and what makes it special.

When to See December’s Full Moon

December’s Cold Moon reaches peak illumination on Tuesday, December 29, 2020, at 10:30 P.M. EST

Start looking for the full Moon just before sunset as it begins to peek above the horizon. To find the exact time that it will appear in your area, consult our Moonrise Calculator.

What makes this full Moon special? It’s most distinctive for its high trajectory across the sky, which results in the full Moon sitting above the horizon for a longer period of time. 

Why Is It Called the Cold Moon?

The Moon names we use in The Old Farmer’s Almanac come from Native American, Colonial American, or other traditional sources passed down through generations. A variety of Native American societies traditionally used the monthly Moons and nature’s corresponding signs as a calendar to track the seasons.

Today, December’s full Moon is most commonly known as the Cold Moon—a Mohawk name that conveys the frigid conditions of this time of year, when cold weather truly begins to grip us.

Other names that allude to the cold and snow include Drift Clearing Moon (Cree), Frost Exploding Trees Moon (Cree), Moon of the Popping Trees (Oglala), Hoar Frost Moon (Cree), Snow Moon (Haida, Cherokee), and Winter Maker Moon (Western Abenaki).

This full Moon has also been called the Long Night Moon (Mohican), as it rose during the “longest” nights of the year, which are near the December winter solstice. This name is also fitting because December’s full Moon shines above the horizon for a longer period of time than most full Moons.

In Europe, ancient pagans called the December full Moon the “Moon Before Yule,” in honor of the Yuletide festival celebrating the return of the sun heralded by winter solstice.

See a full calendar year of full Moon names and their meanings.


Moon Phases for December 2020

Below are the dates and times (in Eastern Time) of the Moon’s phases in December. Click here to see the Moon phase dates and times for your location.

December Moon Phase Dates and Times

Last Quarter: December 7, 7:37 P.M.
New Moon: December 14, 11:18 A.M.
First Quarter: December 21, 6:42 P.M.
Full Moon: December 29, 10:30 P.M.

When is the next Full Moon? Consult our Full Moon Dates chart.

Best Days in December 2020

Below are the best days for activities, based on the Moon’s sign and phase in December.

For Harvesting

  • Aboveground crops: 15, 16
  • Belowground crops: 7, 8

For Setting Eggs

  • 8, 25–27

For Fishing

  • 14–29

See Best Days for more activities.

Moon Folklore

  • If a snowstorm begins when the Moon is young, it will cease at moonrise.

Share your thoughts about this month’s Moon below!


Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

Full moon

Saw it rise last evening and am watching it set right now. Magnificent!

Cold Full Moon 29.12.20

The moon is magnificent this evening at 10.40pm. Especially reflecting off the remaining snow. Perfect for manifesting positive things.


The full moon for December looked awesome in the sky.

December Moon

The Dakota Sioux may also call December the Moon of Popping Trees. History shares that the Wounded Knee Massacre occurred around the moon of popping trees which was December.

Almost full moon on Winter Solstice Dec. 21, 2018

Since the next full moon on Winter Solstice isn't until 2094, (and I will most likely be dead and gone) I am ecstatic that the moon will be almost full on Dec. 21, Winter Solstice 2018. I'll make sure my kids plan something for 2094. ;-)

full cold moon

i see it as another 'sign' to "look up, for your redemption draweth near" -- Jesus Luke 21:28
"pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the sabbath" -- Jesus Matt 24:21

could this be the day He comes for the snatching of His bride?? to escape the coming tribulation of Jacob's trouble?? maybe.. i pray so!!
Turn to Jesus now! for all who call on His Name and believe on Him will be saved and forgiven of all their sins. He is the Savior of the world! He is the promised Messiah! He is alive and coming again!! Come to Him! no sin is too great! the invitation is to all !!!! Hurry!!!


I'm not asking anybody to believe me but I have two witnesses and we actually saw a real dragon flying around the moon on the winter solstice night, it comes every year, just watch for the summer solstice full moon about 5:00 in the morning and please share with what you see, don't say I didn't tell you. It flies around the moon, which can't be done in a few minutes so the time in space is different or it came from a time Warp. Keep on the watch!

So, almost everyone knows

So, almost everyone knows about hair, seeds, fishing in moon fuses. There is also caution on full moon be careful with water. Usually recommended 2,5l per day. But on full moon better decrees amount to 1l. Include soup, coffee, tea, juice.


Well, the moon is a fun piece of space sculpture to keep your eyes on. Ask some NASA astronauts if its really a planet. Haaaaa. I love a mystery! Am I watching a "MOON"? Or could it be watching ME? Its all FUN!!

Satellite, star, or planet....

Hey for that last few mornings here in SE Minnesota, looking straight west, I've seen a bright object in the sky that at times, seems to be blinking. Do you think it is a star, satellite, or planet? Thanks!

Blinking Object

The Editors's picture

If the object does not appear to move, then it is likely a star. The blinking or twinkling you see is called scintillation, and happens when the star’s light passes through the Earth’s atmosphere. Differing air densities of the atmosphere make the light appear to twinkle. This effect is strongest closest to the horizon, as the light must pass through more of the atmosphere than it would directly overhead. 


Is the new moon a full moon or a sliver of a moon?

What is the New Moon?

The Editors's picture

The “New Moon” is technically when there is 0% illumination from the Sun. You can not see the Moon. However, many photos will show a slight sliver (very near the new Moon) or you’d be looking at blackness! With a New Moon, the Sun and Earth on opposite sides of the Moon so all three are aligned, leaving the side of the Moon that faces Earth in complete darkness. See our Moon Phases Calendar and you’ll notice the day of 0% illumination in your time zone is labeled as “New Moon.” https://www.almanac.com/astronomy/moon/calendar

People grow up! - the moon

People grow up! - the moon has ZERO impact on hair cuts and/or hair growth. Oy...

Trim and harpoon

Carefully staying cautious with Outsiders.

You need education of all

You need education of all kinds, if u don't know or believe in nature, u don't know or believe in the world. Get schooled,shut your mouth,and leave the world alone

I like this.

I like this.

December 31

In which year will the moon next be full on December 31st?

Next Full Moon

The Editors's picture

Hi Denise, I don’t know where you live, but if we use GMT, the next Full Moon on December 31 will happen in 2028 ,then 2066, then 2085. The last full Moon on December 31 was in 2009.

Full moon

What is a cold full moon & what does it mean??

cutting hair.

For thousands of years, people have known the best time to initiate any project is when the moon is waxing from dark to full. I always believed cutting hair fits into this category. I believe the Almanac states this too, but also gives confusing dates?? Also what is the emphasis all the sudden on Lunar haircutting, I think it stems from the Lunar hair cutting craze put out by that henna company M.M. People, their calendars are wrong and I don't know where they are getting their information. I think they are making it up as a lot of their products are supposed to be based on Traditional Alternative Medicine methods, but they are not, not even close. Please don't go for the baloney - it is just marketing to try to get you to buy their product line at ridiculously HIGH PRICES...They are not experts as their serums and elixirs are B.S. You could ez make them yourself for 99% less of the price they charge for one.

For Harvesting above ground

what does that mean??? what can I plant on those days if anything,.

Hi Linda,

The Editors's picture

Hi Linda,

You can plant below-ground crops like radishes, carrots, potatoes in the waning of the Moon (between a full Moon and new). The Moon will be new on Dec. 11. After Dec. 11 plant above-ground crops (tomatoes, peas, pepper etc.).

I love my almanac. It all

I love my almanac. It all started with my Grandmother, Mother and most of our family.

Can someone help me... I'm

Can someone help me... I'm looking for dates to cut my hair to make it grow in the months of April and May

See our best days timetable

The Editors's picture

See our best days timetable for dates on cutting hair to encourage growth. Click here: http://www.almanac.com/bestdays/timetable

Hair cutting to have it grow

I think your hair will grow if you cut it at anytime... And even if you don't cut it

Why are the comments saying

Why are the comments saying the best time to cut hair is at full and new moon. But the almanac picks days not on a full or new moon?

Hi Scuffy, The Almanac

The Editors's picture

Hi Scuffy,
The Almanac believes that cutting the hair during a waxing Moon (between new and full) encourages growth. Cutting the hair during a waning Moon (between full and new) discourages growth. The very best days to cut hair to encourage growth in Dec. are 3, 4, 30,31. Very best days to cut hair to discourage growth are Dec. 15 and 16.
See our best days chart at

Can someone ease tell me if

Can someone ease tell me if there's a certain time of the day to get her cut with new moon?