Halloween, a holiday for most of the Western World, celebrates a near-ancient tradition of uncertain origins.
In Mexico, the celebration honors the dead through a delightful feast of good food and drink. The treats are meant to entice the souls of the departed that they may join the living.
Called 'Dia de Los Muertos', or 'Day of the Dead', the holiday brings family and friends together to celebrate the lives of the lost.
What makes this year's celebration even more special is the occurrence of the blue moon.
Thinking that their ancestors get to join them on a day as special will make 2020's festivity even more enticing.
Although not the origin of Halloween, which derives from an ancient Celtic celebration called Samhein, it remains a beautiful celebration.
Of course, Sanheim was once a celebration in Ireland that marked the end of the harvest. At the same time, it also celebrated the end of the Celtic year. The day is now marked as 31 October in modern calendars.
For the Irish, it was the time between the beginning of the new year and the end of the previous year.
In Celtic mythology, it was believed that the spirits of the dead wandered the lands in the moonlight during this time.
Rather similar to the Mexican celebration, it sounds enchanting to believe that the spirits of our deceased loved ones would be walking in the light of a blue moon.
In the western world, the day of Halloween is better known as All Hallows' Eve.
This day celebrates the memory of past saints, often called hallows, martyrs and the faithful of the Christian beliefs.
That's the reason why it can also be called All Saints Day.
Whichever celebration people prefer, they will celebrate the memory of the departed in 2020 underneath the bewitchment of a blue moon.
Can The Moon Turn Blue?
Considering the term 'Blue Moon', some may wonder if the moon can actually turn blue. The phenomenon of a red moon occurs whenever Mars eclipses the moon.
But, strange as it might be, a blue moon can occur.
However, one would have to live through a tragedy to witness this. In history, observation of a blue moon once was seen in the Philippines.
Sadly, it occurred after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in June 1991, which caused a lot of devastation.
This phenomenon occurs whenever micron particles of ash get trapped in the atmosphere. They then disturb the light reflected off the moon.
The ash can scatter red wavelengths of light that will allow other wavelengths to reach through. That is how they create a moon that shines with a bluish tint.
Scientists who studied this phenomenon believe that a forest fire that produces enough ash or smoke to float up into the atmosphere could be enough to produce a similar phenomenon.
The likelihood of such an occurrence would be far rarer than a 'blue moon' that is guaranteed every second year.
It could likely only happen once in a lifetime.
Rather enjoy an equally rare occasion that comes around because of natural events this Halloween.
Where Does The Term 'Blue Moon' Come From?
The term 'Once in a Blue Moon' describes a rare event that comes around only every few decades.
This coming Halloween one such rare occurrence will take place.
Many might consider it more of a treat than a trick, so if you are out with the kids coming the 31st of October, be on the lookout for that Blue Moon.
Coined originally in 1821, the term 'Blue Moon' gained its official definition in 1937. It refers to a rare occurrence of two full moons in a single month.
However, it could also describe a third or fourth full moon that occurs in a season.
Having a full moon, especially a second occurring phenomenon, on Halloween will certainly add to the charm of the holiday.
Unfortunately, the rarity of a blue moon happens more frequently than one would expect.
It occurs every 2.7 years, but what makes it so special this year is that the blue moon occurs on Halloween night.
According to a historical record, the previous occurrence of this phenomenon took place in 2001.
Before that, it happened in 1955, which makes it one of the rarest events in cosmic history.
Of course, Halloween is celebrated as the spookiest day of the year quite often gets depicted in pictures with a shining full moon.
But to date, 2020 will mark only the third time in modern history that it occurred.
To add to the phenomenon, the first full moon of October 2020 will take place on the first day of the month.
It will be the second 'Blue Moon' precisely on the last day of the month.
With so much uncertainty in the air, one thing is true about this Halloween. It will be a spectacular night, graced with the beauty of a full moon.