"The Blue Moon" that is not actually a 'Blue Moon' we know!

Sheeraz Qurban

The August Full Moon is a Blue Moon. It is also known as the Sturgeon or Green Corn Moon. August has only one full moon, So why is it called "Blue Moon"?

Photo by Tom Fisk from Pexels

“Once in a blue moon” – a saying that is relevant this week. Why the August Full Moon is a Blue Moon?

This weekend Full Moon of august will be glowing in the sky and is named Blue Moon. Interestingly, it is the type of blue moon you are probably familiar with neither, it will be the color of its nickname.

A Blue Moon is the second of two full moons appearing during the same calendar month. The same situation which has occurred last year in October.

We had a full moon at the beginning of the Month (Oct) and, the other full moon in the same month was on the eve of Halloween at the end of the month (Oct). But the case is different this year.

August has only one full moon. Yet, it is called Blue. Because it is the third of four seasonal full moons, This full moon is this summer’s 3rd full moon. The first full moon was on June, 24 and, the second full moon was on July, 24th. While this weekend, on 22 Aug, the third full moon will occur. The fourth full moon is expected to occur on Sept 20.

According to NASA

As the third full Moon in a season that has four full Moons, this will be a Blue Moon by the older definition. The first recorded use of "Blue Moon" in English dates from 1528. The Moon will not appear blue. Speculations on the origin of the term include an old English phrase that means "betrayer Moon" or a reference to rare events, such as when dust in the atmosphere makes the Moon appear blue. Since the 1940's the term "Blue Moon" has also been used for the second full Moon in a month that has two full Moons.

One Moon that has many names

Blue moon is not the only nickname of this full seasonal moon. It is also known as the Sturgeon or Green Corn Moon and the Grainer Moon.

According to the Maine Farmers' Almanac,

The full Moon in August, the Algonquin tribes in what is now the northeastern United States called this the Sturgeon Moon after the large fish that were more easily caught this time of year in the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water. This Moon was also called the Green Corn Moon.

It is also called the Green Corn Moon and is associated with the harvesting season of Green Corn in some parts of the United States.

Nikini Poya: Though, every full Moon is a holiday in Srilanka. This full Moon corresponds with the Nikini Poya holiday, honoring the first Buddhist council, which happened about 2,400 years ago.

Raksha Bandham: a Hindu Festival of celebrating the bond between brothers and sisters

The end of the Esala Perahera Festival: also known as the Festival of the Tooth, is a two-week Buddhist festival held each year.

The Hungry Ghost Moon: It is a Chinese festival celebrated during the 7th month of the Chinese calendar.

According to NASA, the next full Moon will be on Sunday morning, Aug. 22, 2021, at 8:02 a.m. EDT. The Moon will appear full for about 3 days around this time, from Friday night through Monday morning, making this a full Moon weekend.

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