December Interesting Facts

Did you know that there are 3 names used for December’s full moon?

The first name is Yule moon and is often used in Europe. This name is used because the full moon is the moon before the Yule, or the old northern European winter festival that is now associated with Christmas.

The December full moon is also called the Long Nights moon. It’s well known in the Northern Hemisphere that in December the nights are longer. This name plays on that idea but also gives a nod to the fact that the moon spends a longer time above the horizon due to the positioning of the sun and the moon in relation to the Earth this time of year.

The most well-known name for the December full moon is the Cold moon.  The most simple of the names, the cold moon simply reflects the fact that December is the month that winter weather truly sets in in the Northern Hemisphere.


December Holidays and Observances

Kicking off the December notable days this is year is Advent Sunday on December 1st. Advent Sunday is the first Sunday is the Christian season of Advent, a season of preparing for Christmas.

Winter Begins on Saturday, December 21st at 11:19 pm EST. This is the first day of Astronomical Winter in the Northern Hemisphere, as well as the shortest day of the year.

Chanukah, or Hanukkah, begins on December 23rd. Chanukah is the eight-day Jewish "festival of lights" celebrating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

Christmas is the Christian Holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus. Throughout the years it has evolved into a worldwide religious and secular celebration. Christmas is celebrated on December 25th, this year falling on a Wednesday.

New Year's Eve, December 31st, falls on a Tuesday this year. Get ready to ring in 2020, we sure are! 

Historic Events

On December 7, 1941 Japan launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on Oahu Island in Hawaii. Just before 8:00 am the Japanese began the attack and in just over an hour they destroyed 20 naval vessels including 8 battle ships, and 300 airplanes. On this day nearly 2,400 Americans died and 1,000 more were injured. More than half of those killed during the attacks were on the USS Arizona totaling 1,177.

On December 8, 1941 the United States declared war on Japan led by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This sparked declarations of war against the United States and brought U.S. declarations of war against the European Powers and the United States involvement in World War II.

There is a National Memorial located in Hawaii to commemorate the Pearl Harbor attack. You can visit the USS Arizona Memorial, the Visitor Center and the Museums all for free; however, you must have a free timed ticket to board the boats to visit the USS Arizona Memorial.


From the Almanac


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