Coming up on November 21st, the Blue Moon holds plenty of romantic fascination, but is it really about a dreamy illusion?
As it turns out, the only time the Blue Moon shows a bluish cast is dependent on surrounding atmospheric influences. And plenty of other theoretical explanations of this special Full Moon event are on hand.
The legend of the Blue Moon picked up momentum in a few different offbeat sorts of ways. Attention to the Blue Moon goes back approximately 400 years, but it’s still shrouded in mystery to this day.
A misprinted quote that someone published referencing the Farmer’s Almanac was then picked up by two other news sources. So the controversy that ensued brought a lot of attention to this previously minor event.
The assumed rarity of the Blue Moon brought the inception of the phrase “Once in a Blue Moon.”
More confusion surrounds the Blue Moon folklore through arguments that are yet undetermined as far as accuracy. Some say it is when two Full moons occur in one month. Other lore considers the only Blue Moons are the ones that occur near an equinox or solstice.
So, along with the obscure meanings and dates considered from different calendars; systems such as sidereal, tropical or Ecclesiastical calendars, there is quite a bit of a mystery surrounding the significance and timing of the Blue Moon.
Another theory states that the Blue Moon only happens seven times every nineteen years. But if one wishes to be totally accurate about this, the different times zones need to be calculated.
The phrase, “Once in a Blue Moon” caught on like wildfire as a description meaning an event that happens very rarely. Songs of romance surrounding the imagined Blue Moon, which in itself is rarely blue, made such a hit that it doesn’t really matter what color it is as long as it’s Full Moon.
Which brings this to the point of the issue, and maybe another theory of what made this particular Full Moon famous.
Particles in the atmosphere are what give the coloration. After the volcano, Krakatoa, let off some steam, the moon was blue for nearly two years. Sometimes, where there have been recent forest fires, the moon also appears to be blue.
Moon watchers who say that the Blue Moon folklore is about those months which have two Full Moons occurring, are actually only describing a occasional event. Yet, two Full Moons in one month is easy to track, and keeps people posted on what to expect.
Romantic inclinations toward this end are always a good direction to take. A chilly night, and a warming embrace in the Full moonlight can never be wrong, whether it’s the Blue Moon or not – right?