Don’t Miss The Christmas Cold Moon, The Last Full Moon Of 2023

hero full moon santa sleigh
The last full moon of 2023, often referred to as the Full Cold Moon, will brighten the night sky and the holiday festivities. This month’s Cold Moon got its moniker after a Mohawk name that referenced the chilly conditions during this time of year.

December’s full moon will be at its fullest on December 26, and is the first full moon after the winter solstice. The winter solstice marks the official beginning of winter, and this year it fell on December 21. It is also the shortest day of the entire year, with days beginning to get longer until the summer solstice in late June. Not to mention it conincides with the most festive time of year for many, Christmas, and will appear full from December 25-27.

nasa december moon phases

The winter solstice Moon will take the highest path along the night sky, mimicking the travel of Santa’s sleigh as jolly ole St. Nick delivers presents to all the boys and girls around the world (or coal in the stocking for those naughty few!). Those fortunate enough to have a snow-laden ground over the next few nights may also reminisce about one line in the epic poem best known as “The Night Before Christmas”. The line reads, “The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow gave the luster of mid-day to objects below.”

The east coast of the US will be able to view the moon officially full at 7:34pm on Tuesday, December 26. It will be best viewed seen rising in the east, and will be in the constellation Gemini. Onlookers should also be able to see the star Capella in the constellation Auriga to the above left, and the star Betelgeuse in the constellation Orion in the lower right.

If clouds end up hiding the Cold Moon from view over the next couple of nights, the next full moon won’t be until January 25, 2023. It will be the first of 12 full moons in 2023, and is often called the Wolf Moon.