A Full Moon On Christmas – First Time Since 1977
Santa should have no problem finding his way to deliver gifts this year, and the light of a brilliant full moon should take some of the pressure off Rudolf. It's been 38 years since we had a full moon on Christmas!
With 99 percent illumination from the moon on Christmas Eve, Santa and Rudolf should have a smooth ride. On Christmas, the moon officially becomes full at 6:11 a.m., just one hour before it sets. The full moon then rises again at 5:32 p.m. on Christmas evening.
The Washington Post reports there were only three Christmas full moons in all of the 20th century: 1901, 1920 and 1977. For the 19th century, 1806, 1825 and 1863 were years with a Christmas full moon. Enjoy this Christmas full moon, as the next one, occurs in 2034. Amazingly, in the 21st century, there will be five altogether, including 2053, 2072 and 2091.
The nation’s first Christmas full moon was Dec. 25, 1776, when the full moon may have had historic ramifications. That Christmas moon fell on the night that George Washington and his Continental Army famously crossed the Delaware River from Pennsylvania into New Jersey in pursuit of Hessians fighting for the British. Needing a battle victory, Washington decided to launch a surprise attack on Trenton, according to the National Museum of the American Revolution. Men, horses and cannons would be ferried across the river to reach Trenton before daybreak. Battling ice, the army crossed the river. Fortunately, dense clouds and a strong winter storm shrouded the bright full moon and hid the army from the Hessian lookouts – otherwise history might be different.