December is the twelfth and last month of the year in the modern day Gregorian calendar and its predecessor, the Julian calendar. The month kept its original name from the Latin word decem meaning “ten” which marked it as the tenth month of the year in the Roman calendar. It was named during a time when the calendar year began with March, which is why its name no longer corresponds with its placement in the Julian and Gregorian calendars.
December was originally the last month of the old Roman calendar since the winter period was not assigned months. It originally consisted of 30 days, but its length was shortened to 29 days when the months of January and February were added around 700 BCE. During the Julian calendar reform, two days were added to December making it 31 days long.
It is the seasonal equivalent of June in the opposite hemisphere. The month contains the winter solstice which is the shortest day of the year and marks the beginning of the winter season in the Northern Hemisphere. December starts on the same day of the week as September every year and ends on the same day of the week as April every year.
Its birth flower is the holly or Euphorbia pulcherrima and birthstone is the blue turquoise or zircon.