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What is a blue moon

Updated on May 14, 2015

What is a Blue Moon?

It is sung about, dreamt about, acclaimed the world over and yet possibly very few people have ever seen one or know what it is. Do you?

It is the same satellite to the earth that has rotated around it for millions, if not billions, of years. It affects the tides, the growth of plants, the way we act, and it impacts on lovers and others at all times. It is the thing that makes the night so interesting and which encourages us to turn our gaze skywards whenever it appears, even when that happens during the day. But when does the moon turn blue?

If it doesn't actually change color then why do we say it does? Perhaps the answers below will satisfy the mind in resolving this puzzle.

Sun and mMoon Lovers
Sun and mMoon Lovers

The Event Called a Blue Moon

Its possible origins

The solar bodies are important in earth's history as many of the ancient cultures used them for things like navigation, worship of their gods, setting their calendars and so on. The sun being the main body was Mother god of the day and the moon was her consort. 'Mon' is 'man' in Scot and is the origin of the term 'moon'. Many ancient icons showed the sun as the Queen of Heaven and the Moon as her mate. The 'man' as moon gave rise to the tale of the 'man in the moon', which of course no one can see.

Religious events were planned by the appearance and disappearance of the consort. The new moon, quarter moon, full moon and waning moon were important milestones in all cultures researched by me. When the Catholic Church was established in 325 AD by Constantine he quickly altered the relationship to equinox and the crucifixion of god-men and related it to the moon. This was to camouflage its roots in Roman sun worship. Easter Sunday became the Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon (PFM) date for the year.

"In June 325 A.D. astronomers approximated astronomical full moon dates for the Christian church, calling them Ecclesiastical Full Moon (EFM) dates. From 326 A.D. the PFM date has always been the EFM date after March 20 (which was the equinox date in 325 A.D.)" (source http://www.assa.org.au/edm.html#Method).

Whilst not too much evidence remains of the tricks employed by the clergy to achieve the change there is something written in history that brings a light onto the event. Apparently the term 'Blue Moon' comes from folklore and pagan worship. "Folklore gave each moon a name according to its time of year. A moon which came too early had no folk name - and was called a blue moon - bringing the correct seasonal timings for future moons." (source Wikipedia). From the same source comes this snippet "The Farmers' Almanac defined blue moon as an extra full moon that occurred in a season; one season was normally three full moons. If a season had four full moons, then the third full moon was named a blue moon."

Whatever its origin the Blue Moon is a great romantic favorite having been sung about, dreamt over, used in movies and mysteries for decades. It has just recently been seen in the South Eastern Skies over Australia. It was bigger and closer to the earth than normal and many took pictures as they pondered why it was called by that name.

Blue Moon by Elvis Presley

yes

yes

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    • norma-holt 4 years ago

      @VspaBotanicals: Nice to see you here as well. Hugs

    • VspaBotanicals 4 years ago

      I certainly have and I was in awe. Beautiful lens.

    • Edutopia 5 years ago

      Yes. Yes I have. It was the Moon. It was blue. That is all.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      Yes I have, but just didn't look blue. Looked just like the one early in the month.

    • iijuan12 5 years ago from Florida

      Yes. I can't say it was too exciting, though.

    • SAMEPRINCESS10 6 years ago

      BLUE MOON OF KENTUCKY KEEP ON A SHINING SHINE ON THE ONE WHO WENT AND LEFT ME BLUE. BLUE MOON YOU SAW ME STANDING ALONE WITHOUT A DREAM ARE A LOVE OF MY OWN.

    • anonymous 7 years ago

      Yes June 29th; 1996. Our daughters wedding day. It is one of our most presious memories. I am Windwalker Woman,

      N. Cheyenne.

    Have you Seen a Blue Moon? - Is it something you contemplate?

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      • termit_bronx 4 years ago

        Not yet, but I would like to!

      • miaponzo 5 years ago

        I don't think I have :)

      • Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Not really but I am sure I'll be more conscious of this now.

      • anonymous 7 years ago

        No, but I sure have looked for one.

      Moonlight Serenade - Glen Miller and Frank Sinatra

      Still images from Dreamstime - click here

      Moon Songs

      There is almost no limit to the number of tunes dedicated to the moon. This lens shows some of them but you can probably think of dozens more.

      Moon River - Audrey Hepburn

      Breakfast at Tiffany's

      Sometimes

      Sometimes

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        • VspaBotanicals 4 years ago

          My husband says I am too philosophical, because I always marvel at the moon and all of nature for that matter. I get a sense of purpose and hope each and every time it shines brightly in the night sky. Lovely and beautiful lens.

        • miaponzo 5 years ago

          I love looking at the moon :)

        • Edutopia 5 years ago

          The moon is less romantic for me but does often capture my gaze and leave me to my thoughts and wonderment.

        • ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

          Often, actually.

        • SAMEPRINCESS10 6 years ago

          WHICH ONE? LOL!

        • anonymous 6 years ago

          It's amazing the way it's always there wherever you go

        • Julia M S Pearce 6 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

          Yes very, would love to see a blue moon.

        • Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

          I love watching it in the evening when it is full.

        • Moe Wood 7 years ago from Eastern Ontario

          I love the moon and think it does have a romantic and spiritual quality about it.

        • sheriangell 7 years ago

          As I am a moon child - I love the moon and yes, it is romantic.

        • justholidays 7 years ago

          I would say that I find a night without moon scary...

        • Cynthia Sylvestermouse 7 years ago from United States

          I am definitely enchanted by the combination of the sky, the clouds and the moon.,

        Is the Moon Romantic for You? - How often do you gaze at it and wonder?

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          No comments yet.

          The Moon is Blue - The Movie

          Still images from Dreamstime - click here

          Its Not Really Blue

          So why do people call it the Blue Moon. Is it because it only happens once in a blue moon, that is only occasionally, or is it because that's what everyone else calls it.?

          Did you enjoy your visit here. If so please scribe a little note about what you think of this lens. Thank you.

          Remember these quizzes will earn you heaps of points


          © 2010 norma-holt

          Comments

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            • flinnie lm profile image

              Gloria Freeman 3 years ago from Alabama USA

              I tried to post to your debates, but I was not able to. Great lens, I enjoyed reading it.

            • profile image

              seahorse60 3 years ago

              I love learning about the moon and stars, so I've enjoyed reading your lens. I tried to leave comments in both polls but there seems to be a glitch and they didn't register.

            • VspaBotanicals profile image

              VspaBotanicals 4 years ago

              I enjoyed my visit very much. Thank you.

            • profile image

              miaponzo 5 years ago

              What a cute blue moon lens! :) Blessed!

            • profile image

              Edutopia 5 years ago

              Nice lens, filled with as many tidbits about the Moon as it has craters.

            • Commandrix profile image

              Heidi 5 years ago from Benson, IL

              Hi! Thanks a bunch for featuring my Jupiter Lens here. :) I've always thought it was funny that they call it a "blue moon," but then, I think it's funny that some people still think it's made out of cheese, LOL.

            • ChrisDay LM profile image

              ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

              I love the moon.

            • profile image

              Stonecutter 6 years ago

              I had known what a blue moon was once upon a time and since had forgotten. Thanks for reminding me as well as for the other information about the moon and the sun, that was stuff I was not aware of. If I keep hanging around here I might get an education.

            • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

              MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

              Well done as usual

            • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

              MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

              Well done as usual

            • SAMEPRINCESS10 profile image

              SAMEPRINCESS10 6 years ago

              THERE'S A BATHROOM ON THE RIGHT. IS THAT HOW BAD MOON RISING GOES? LOL!

            • profile image

              anonymous 6 years ago

              The blue moon from Australia is so beautiful - I never knew blue moons actually existed I always thought it was just a saying.

            • profile image

              SofiaMann 6 years ago

              This is a magic lens. Congratulations.

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              anonymous 6 years ago

              Great lens. "bringing down the moon"

            • aesta1 profile image

              Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

              This is a great lens. I enjoyed the polls that you often put in your lenses.

            • profile image

              anonymous 7 years ago

              Awesome lens Norma! Love the video Blue Moon by Elvis. ~ Thank you for explaining what a Blue Moon is, I wondered but never looked up the info. Great lens from a great person. 5 Stars and for once I wish I could give you 5 Moons. ~ BTW: Rod Stewart's new album is called Once in a Blue Moon, I do believe....don't know if its on Amazon yet or not.

              Best wishes with this,

              Susie

            • Ramkitten2000 profile image

              Deb Kingsbury 7 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

              What a nice idea for a lens.

            • sheriangell profile image

              sheriangell 7 years ago

              I liked my visit here a lot. The moon and it's draw is special to me.

            • justholidays profile image

              justholidays 7 years ago

              This is a very nice lens, short and sweet, like I love lenses in general! Great info and nice debate module!

              Dom.

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              Geeve 7 years ago

              Thanks Norma,

              This made an enjoyable read over the morning coffee. 5*

            • Davidfstillwagon profile image

              Davidfstillwagon 7 years ago

              good information! 5*

            • Sylvestermouse profile image

              Cynthia Sylvestermouse 7 years ago from United States

              This is a very interesting read. I don't know exactly why, but I am definitely fascinated by the moon. Now that cell phones have cameras, my husband frequently sends pictures of the night sky to me, even when he is just in the backyard:) It isn't unusual to hear the words "come look at the moon" around our house and for everyone to scurry to the door or window. Of course, I love all of the romantic songs about the moon. I think I even remember 3 mice singing about the "Blue Moon." Angel Blessed and added to my Squid Angel Mouse Tracks lens