“Every once in a blue moon, something new comes along that scrambles your preconceptions.”

blue moon

The saying “once in a blue moon” has nothing to do with color and nothing to do with feeling blue, it simply refers to its rareness of happening. There are blue looking moons but that has to do with atmosphere, position, and horizon.
We in our daily talk might describe an unusual event as happening “Once in a Blue Moon.” This expression was first noted back in 1821 and refers to occurrences that are uncommon, though not truly rare.

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or a different version of Blue Moon

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Where did it get its name?
No one truly knows why they decided to call that extra moon a blue moon, however most believe it comes from an Old English word, “belewe,” meaning, “to betray.” Perhaps, then, the Moon was “belewe” because it betrayed the usual perception of one full Moon per month.

There are in fact two definitions for a blue moon.

1) According to the more recent definition, which was defined in 1946, a blue moon is the second full moon in a calendar month. What that means since the span between two moons is about 29.5 days is that it has to happen in the first of the month and then in the last of the month and the month must have obviously at least 30 days so that leaves February out. It is interesting to note here that this meaning started out as a misinterpretation published in a magazine article!

According to this first definition – August 31, 2012.

2) The older definition, used in the 19th Century which is recorded in early issues of the Farmer’s Almanac, states that the blue moon is the third full moon in a season that has four full moons. One season – winter, spring, fall, summer – typically has three full moons. If a season has four full moons, then the third full moon may be called a Blue Moon.

The next blue moon by this definition will fall on August 21, 2013.

Why would anyone want to identify the third full moon in a season of four full moons?

In doing research on this very question I found it to be quite a complex answer. Basically what it has to do with is religion; The Christian ecclesiastical calendar to be precise.

To me it seemed to be a housekeeping of record thing. Most years will have 12 full moons and each moon had a name, for instance the importance of the Paschal Moon was that they used it to determine the date of Easter. So when a year here and there had 13 moons, it simply through everything off. They had to come up with a way to make that right and they did this by identifying that 13 full moon as a blue moon.

Miscellaneous Information about blue moons

The next five years the blue moons will be:
Year        Month              First Full Moon              Blue Moon
2012   August 2nd                 03:25                   31st at 13:56
2015   July 2nd                      02:19                   31st at 10:41
2018   January 2nd                02:23                    31st at 13:27
2018   March 2nd                   00:50                   31st at 12:35
2020  October 1st                  21:05                   31st at 14:47

On average, there will be 41 months that have two Full Moons in every 100 years

A blue moon usually will happen every two-and-a-half years.

Two blue moons in the same year will occur four or five times in a hundred years.

Last time there were two blue moons in one year was in 1999, two in January and two in March.

The next year of double blue moons is coming up in 2018.

A Full Moon on Halloween must also be a Blue Moon, and it happens five or six times during the 21st century.

No blue moon of any kind will occur in the years 2011, 2014, and 2017.

Blue Moon : Is There Really Such a Thing or is it all Myth and Legend? We have all at one time or another heard about the blue moon, but what is it really? Here we will discuss the blue moon and what it means for us.

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The blue moon makes you think of songs and romance, but is it a real phenomena or simply made up from legend and passed down through time?

Filed under: Moonlore+

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