Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

St. Nicholas comes to visit

For the first time in a generation, look outside your window as Christmas Day draws to its close and you’ll see a full moon hanging in the sky.

It’s a scene immortalized in many a festive tale, most famously “The Night Before Christmas”, in which, “The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, Gave a luster of midday to objects below”.

It also lit the way for everyone’s favorite red-nosed reindeer, and many a Christmas card and decoration has depicted Santa’s sleigh flying in front of a bright, full moon.

In reality, the “Cold Moon” can only happen once every 19 years.

This time around, though, it hasn’t appeared in the sky for much longer. The number of leap days in each 19-year period can cause a discrepancy, which means that it the Cold Moon didn’t happen on Christmas Day as scheduled in 1996.

In fact, the last time the moon was full on Christmas Day was all the way back in 1977 – and it won’t happen again until 2034.

The first Cold Moon in the history of this nation was in 1776, the night that George Washington crossed the Delaware River.

The name of the year’s final full moon, according to the Farmers’ Almanac, is steeped in tribal and Celtic culture. “Cold Moon” is a Mohawk name to convey the frigid temperatures of the beginning of winter; it is also known as the Long Night Moon in Mohican, as it rises close to the winter solstice.

The moon will be full this year on Christmas Day and the following two days.