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This article is about the month. For other uses, see December (disambiguation).
"Dec." redirects here. For other uses, see Dec.
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December (Listeni/dˈsɛmbər/ di-SEM-bər) is the twelfth and last month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars. It is one of seven months with the length of 31 days.

December is the first month of meteorological winter in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Southern Hemisphere is the first month of summer. December is the month with the shortest daylight hours of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the longest daylight hours of the year in the Southern Hemisphere.


December, from the Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry

December gets its name from the Latin word decem (meaning ten) because it was originally the tenth month of the year in the Roman calendar, which began in March. The winter days following December were not included as part of any month. Later, the months of January and February were created out of the monthless period and added to the beginning of the calendar, but December retained its name.[1]

Month-long observances[edit]

Movable Observances[edit]

First Friday

Second Friday after Thanksgiving

First Sunday

Second Monday

Winter Solstice

December 22, unless that date is a Sunday, in which case its moved to the 23rd

Last Friday

December 26, unless that day is a Sunday, in which case the 27th

Fixed observances[edit]

December symbols[edit]


  1. ^ Macrobius, Saturnalia, tr. Percival Vaughan Davies (New York: Columbia University Press, 1969), book I, chapters 12–13, pp. 89–95.
  2. ^ "Zodiac signs and date ranges used in astrology". 

See also[edit]