For anyone who has looked up into the sky last night or tonight, (Dec. 18th & 19th), the full moon is spectacular.
According to the Farmer’s Alamanac, the moon names come from Indigenous peoples who traditionally use the monthly moon and nature as a calendar to track the seasons.
December’s full moon is the last of the year and is known by several names – the Cold Moon by the Mohawk people, the Long Night Moon by the Mohican as it is the longest winter night of the year and Little Spirit Moon (Minado Giisoonhs … Min-ah-doh Gee-soonh) by the Anishinaabe.
The winter solstice is the day with the fewest hours of sunlight in the whole year, making it the “shortest day” of the year and, this year, it happens on Tuesday, December 21st.
It is also the astronomical first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and the shortest day of the year.
For those who live in the ‘north’, the solstice can also be known as midwinter, because the days get longer after it has passed. A poem written by the English poet Christina Rossettie in the mid-1800s and set to melody by Gustav Holst in 1905 best describes the midwinter, In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan
Earth stood hard as iron
Water like a stone
Snow had fallen
Snow on snow on snow
In the bleak midwinter
Long, long ago
Also, for those in the north, the winter solstice means … the countdown to Spring as the days get longer!