Sometimes that means seldom, infrequently, not very often, nearly never. This month it means there are TWO full moons. The first one was December 3, the final, or BLUE moon, will occur in North America on December 31. The exact time, here in Arizona, will be 12:13am. AM, as in just after midnight, on the morning of New Year's Eve. If you’re planning to hold a Blue Moon Party, that when it would be. In other time zones, you’ll have to plan accordingly.
All that is according to the current definition of a blue moon: the second full moon in any calendar month. Didn’t use to be that way. Originally, at least in the Julian Calendar, the blue moon was the fourth full moon in a calendar quarter. As such it occurred only in the months of March, June, October or December. That definition was useful for determining the date Easer would fall, if you were inclined to figure it out for yourself. Me? I just look at the printed planning calendar we get from Staples.
Why is it called ‘Blue?” Well, the story goes, that dates back to the early belief that the moon was made of green cheese, After Neil Armstrong landed on the moon we know that’s not true. But if the moon was made of green cheese, then a blue moon would be impossible, so it meant never.
How often does a blue moon occur? Well, not very often, in fact only once in a blue moon. Certainly not every year, since 2010 and 2011 will not have a blue moon at all. So if you want to have a blue moon party, now’s the time. We held one once. Fortunately it was in the summer and we could hold it outdoors (we lived in California then). All the decorations had a lunar theme. Suzy even wore a blouse patterned with blue moons.
We would ask our friend Al the Stargeezer to take a picture of the blue moon, but he has all sorts of excuses, such as that the full moon is too bright for his camera and fancy-dancy telescope. I think it’s just that he doesn’t want to get up at midnight. Maybe we should offer him some Cowboy Cookies as a bribe. He’d probably want us to bring them to him at midnight! That’s the kind of guy he is.
Rick, on the other hand, will be on the road, traveling from BC to his winter home in Palm Desert, and probably won’t want to be up at midnight either. He hasn’t tasted our Cowboy Cookies yet.
Where will you be on the wee hour morning of December 31?