Once In a Blue Moon

29 Feb

We all know that the expression “once in a Blue Moon” means “very rarely”, but where does this expression come from?

Contrary to popular belief, the expression does not refer to the moon’s colour, but to the moon’s cycle. According to the Christian ecclesiastical calendar, a “Blue Moon” is the third Full Moon in a season with four full moons. A more recent definition states that a “Blue Moon” is the second Full Moon in a calendar month. Hence, it is very unlikely that any month will contain two Full Moons, because, on average, the interval between Full Moons is approximately 29.5 days, whereas each month is made up of about 30.5 days. By the second definition, a Blue Moon will occur every two-and-a-half years.

The third definition of a Blue Moon is my personal favourite. I learned it at school at the age of nine and have never forgotten it since. According to my primary-school teacher, a “Blue Moon” is a Full Moon which occurs on the 29th of February.

This definition would mean that a Blue Moon occurs every 120 years, and, apparently, the next one will be in 2048.

I don’t know about you, but I’m marking the date in my diary. Wouldn’t miss a Blue Moon for the world!


10 Responses to “Once In a Blue Moon”

  1. avenues of artistry 29/02/2012 at 21:38 #

    omg. thanks for finding me. loving your blog. esp. this moon post. moon makes me swoon! xo

    • l0ve0utl0ud 02/03/2012 at 22:09 #

      I love the moon, too! Thanks for visiting Love Out Out!

  2. Patricia 01/03/2012 at 02:02 #

    Wow! A blue moon will mark my 100th birthday. I plan on seeing it, Lord willing and if the creek don’t rise.

    • l0ve0utl0ud 02/03/2012 at 22:09 #

      Wow! What an awesome present for a 100th birthday! 🙂

  3. Lenore Diane 01/03/2012 at 04:23 #

    I hope I am still alive then … I’ll be in my early 90s. GASP!

    • l0ve0utl0ud 02/03/2012 at 22:10 #

      Of course you will be, and you’ll celebrate the Blue Moon with a champagne party 😉

  4. Seasweetie 01/03/2012 at 05:30 #

    Nor would I. Charming post!

  5. Karina 01/03/2012 at 07:57 #

    Good to know!!! Thanks LOL ❤

    • l0ve0utl0ud 02/03/2012 at 22:11 #

      Very happy to have shared this very unusual fact with you!

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