December Full Moon: Strawberry Moon in Southern Hemisphere

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The first full moon after the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere is called the Strawberry Moon. The December full moon that we know as the strawberry moon will occur on Tuesday, December 29, 2020. Additionally, the December full moon in the Earth’s Southern areas is also known as Honey Moon, Fruit Moon, and the Rose Moon. On the contrary, for the people living in the northern hemisphere; let’s say European or American people, they call the December full moon the Cold Moon, Long Night Moon, Moon before Yule, and the Oak Moon. WHY? Because for them, this month’s full moon will be the first full moon after the winter solstice i.e the first day of winter in the northern hemisphere. Apart from that, whether you are living above or below the equator, it will be the last full moon of 2020. Wanna know why different full moon names in the different hemispheres and much more interesting facts about the December full moon in the southern hemisphere? Keep Reading! Ler’s dive right in! Highly recommended, Full Moon Calendar 2021 (Dates, Names & Moon Sign – Northern Hemisphere)  

Why Different Full Moon Names in Different Hemisphere?

Without wasting any more time, let me give you the exact reason behind it. Just because there is an approx 6 months of seasonal difference, the people living above and below the equator use different full moon names. For millennia, ancient humans have used different seasons as a guide to track the different full moon phases. Or, you can say for millennia, humans have used the full moon phases to track the changing season.

When there is the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere, there is the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. Pic credit: Wikimedia Commons

Obviously, now you would be thinking that what could be the reason behind the seasonal difference between the two hemispheres? Just because the earth has an axial tilt of 23.4 degrees, there is a seasonal mismatch between the southern and the northern hemisphere. See the above image for proper understanding. On the contrary, If you want to know more about the earth’s tilt and how it affects the seasons on the earth, you can check this article. I can bet you will love this piece of article.  

Different Full Moon Names for December Full Moon

Just to clarify, seasons are not the only way possible to provide different full moon names. I mean the names given to the various full moon phases are based upon a couple of different sources. In other words, different people have given different full moon names depending upon their native place or their cultural lifestyle. Not to mention, even mythological characters had played their role in the naming of the full moon phases. Must read, 8 Lunar Phases – From New Moon to Full Moon to New Moon On the contrary, you would be amused to know that the full moon names used in the southern hemisphere are the same as the northern hemisphere, just the seasonal difference. Wanna know why??? Well, because the people living in the southern hemisphere (let’s say Australia, South Africa, or South America) are none other than the European settlers. In other words, you can say that European settlers, at first, integrated the native American full moon names into their modern Georgian calendar. And, later, many of these full moon names went with them to new places around the world.  

December Full Moon: Strawberry Moon in Southern Hemisphere

In the southern hemisphere, the full moon in December is known as the Strawberry Moon or Full Strawberry Moon. WHY? Because it signals or simply indicates the ripening of the fruits (let’s say strawberry). That’s why the full moon in this month also goes by the name of Fruit Moon. Apart from these, the other full moon names are Honey Moon and Rose Moon. Well, not only this full moon indicates the ripening of the fruits. It also marks the official beginning of the summer heat in the southern hemisphere. Must read: December Solstice: First Day of Summer in Southern Hemisphere Moreover, during the December full moon, the sun’s orbital path across the sky is as high as it can be. Therefore, as a result, the whole of the southern hemisphere receives the maximum amount of summer heat during the month of December.  

Other cultural Full Moon names

Well, if you go somewhere away from your native place, you will see that local indigenous people have their own indigenous full moon names. Sadly, that is not the case with the people living in the southern hemisphere. For several days, I have been trying to get some detail regarding the full moon naming criteria for the Earth’s southern areas. But, I did not find any single piece of work related to that. However, I do find one resource where it has been mentioned that the native people of the southern hemisphere didn’t assign a name to only the Full Moon phase of each month. Every night of the Moon had a name. Therefore, as a result of these elaborated naming conditions, many in the Southern Hemisphere rely on the European-inspired Full Moon Names.  

When is the Next Full Moon in December?

The next full moon will occur on Tuesday, December 29, 2020, and is known as the full strawberry moon. Okay, for the southerners, it will be Strawberry Moon. And, for the northerners, it will be a Cold Moon. Additionally, on this day, the moon will be in Cancer. At last, I wish you good luck with this epic moon gazing. And, do let me know about your amazing experience in the comment section.  

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many phases of the moon are there?

Ans. In total, there are 8 lunar phases of the moon which can be divided into two subdivisions.  In the primary subdivision, there are 4 phases of the moon. These are New Moon, First Quarter Moon, Full Moon, Last Quarter Moon. Similarly, in the secondary subdivision, there are Waxing Crescent Moon, Waxing Gibbous Moon, Waning Gibbous Moon, and Waning Crescent Moon.

2. How many full moons in one year?

Ans. Generally, there are 12 full moons in one year corresponding to each month. But, sometimes there are 13 full moons in a year (Just like the year 2020). The additional full moon is known as the blue moon.

4. List of full moon names by month for the southern hemisphere.

Ans. Here is the list of complete full moon names of 2021 for the southern hemisphere.

  • January full moon – Buck Moon
  • February full moon – Sturgeon Moon
  • March full moon – Harvest Moon
  • April full moon – Hunter’s Moon
  • May full moon – Beaver Moon
  • June full moon – Cold Moon
  • July full moon – Ice Moon
  • August full moon – Snow Moon
  • September full moon – Worm Moon
  • October full moon – Pink Moon
  • November full moon – Flower Moon
  • December full moon – Strawberry Moon

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I am a mechanical engineer by profession. Just because of my love for fundamental physics, I switched my career, and therefore I did my postgraduate degree in physics. Right now I am a loner (as ever) and a Physics blogger too. My sole future goal is to do a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, especially in the field of cosmology. Because in my view, every aspect of physics comes within the range of cosmology. And I love traveling, especially the Sole one.

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