The Month Of December
December is the 12th month (and last month) in our modern-day Gregorian calendar (as it was in the preceding Julian calendar).
However, it was originally the 10th month of the Roman calendar (until 153 BC). Hence, “December” comes from the Latin word decem, meaning “ten.”
Back in Roman times, the calendar only had ten months and began with March! The winter period was not even assigned months because it was not an active time for military, agriculture, or civil life.
The month of December originally consisted of 30 days. When January and February were added to the calendar (around 700 BCE), December was shortened to 29 days. Then, in the subsequent Julian calendar, two days were added to December, making it 31 days long.
The month of December brings the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. This is the shortest day of the year (the day with the least amount of daylight). In 2020, the solstice is on Monday, December 21.
Full Cold Moon
December’s full Moon, the full Cold Moon, appears on Tuesday, December 29, reaching peak illumination at 10:30 P.M.
DECEMBER BIRTHSTONE December’s traditional birthstone is turquoise. It is considered a symbol of good fortune and success. Zircon and tanzanite are also considered to be December birthstones.
DECEMBER BIRTH FLOWER December’s birth flowers are the holly (Ilex aquifolium) and the paperwhite Narcissus (Euphorbia pulcherrima)—a relative of the daffodil with lovely white blooms.