Party planners take note. For the first time in almost twenty years, there's going to be a Blue Moon on New Year's Eve.
"I remember the last time this happened," says professor Philip Hiscock of the Dept. of Folklore at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. "December 1990 ended with a Blue Moon, and many New Year's Eve parties were themed by the event. It was a lot of fun."
Don't expect the Moon to actually turn blue, though. "The 'Blue Moon' is a creature of folklore," he explains. "It's the second full Moon in a calendar month."
Most months have only one full Moon.
There is a lot of folklore about the moon. Modern folklore has it that full moons make for better parties and higher booking rates at mental hospitals, but all the serious studies I've read deny the relationship.
The earliest references to a blue moon are in a phrase remarkably like early references to the moon's "green cheese."
This understanding of a blue moon being absurd (the first meaning) led eventually to a second meaning, that of "never"
Even by the mid-nineteenth century it was clear that although visually blue moons were rare, they did happen from time to time. So the phrase "once in a blue moon" came about.
I know of six songs which use "blue moon" as a symbol of sadness and loneliness. In half of them the poor crooner's moon turns to gold when he gets his love at the end of the song.
Or you can always bring the New Years in with a toast of the drink Blue Moon:
Blue Moon Recipe
||29 % (of 77 votes)
||1.0 dash Angostura Bitters
1.0 tsp. Blue Curacao
1.5 oz. Gin
4.0 cubes Ice
0.5 oz. Dry Vermouth
||Fill a mixing glass with ice and add all ingredients. Shake and strain into a chilled glass.
| Closed on 01/30/10 at 05:00PM
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