Once in a blue moon we might win a lottery or see a leopard in the mountain but for most this will be an extremely rare event. Where did the expression once in a blue moon originate? The modern interpretation of a Blue Moon, which is the second full moon in a month, feels less rare, taking that time flies by so quickly.
Blue Moons occur every two to three years. There can even be two Blue Moons in one calendar year. In 1999 there were two full moons in January and March with no full moon in February. The next double Blue Moon events will occur in January and March, 2018.
An older definition of Blue Moon was based on a seasonal event. The Maine Farmer’s Almanac defined a Blue Moon as an extra full moon that occurred in a season. A season (winter, spring, autumn or summer) ordinarily has three full moons. If there are four full moons in a season, the third one is called a Blue Moon. This is also not so rare but life was more leisurely some decades ago and the interval between Blue Moons must have felt a lot longer.
Artists, writers and lovers have no reason to complain about a lack of inspiration as during July 2015 we had a full moon on July 2 and another one on July 31, which the media have already cottoned on to and are splashing as an extremely rare event.
Blue or not, a full moon is always beautiful. Consider yourself lucky if you see the rarest of Blue Moons - one that is actually blue. Certain atmospheric conditions, like smoke, could result in the Moon having a tinge of blue, otherwise one can always apply filters to your images if, on the night, the Moon looks its familiar grey colour.
Rare or not, Blue Moons remind us to take notice of all celestial events and appreciate our awesome universe.