Halloween Will Feature Rare Blue Moon This Year

half moon photo blue halloween 2020
(Photo: Wassilios Aswestopoulos/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The term "once in a blue moon" is meant to describe an occurrence that happens rarely, with 2020 being full of unexpected events that no one really saw coming. Continuing this trend is the fact that Halloween will see a Blue Moon occur, despite it being an annual holiday. As opposed to an event like a Blood Moon, in which the Moon takes on a reddish shade, a Blue Moon merely connotes the second of two full moons occurring within the same calendar month. The Moon itself will look the same as it typically does during any other full moon.

As reported by EarthSky, the last Blue Moon took place on March 31, 2018. The term "Blue Moon" can also be used to describe the third of four full moons of a season. The next seasonal Blue Moon will be witnessed on August 22, 2021.

While the upcoming lunar event might not be as exceptional as the name implies, the coronavirus pandemic is causing complications around the world in a number of ways and surely the upcoming holiday season will be unconventional, to say the least. A majority of countries around the world have effectively managed to contain the pandemic, though the United States is still largely crippled by the virus.

Throughout 2020, holidays like Mother's Day, Father's Day, Memorial Day, and Independence Day have been celebrated in a modified capacity, due to social distancing protocols which are meant prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but the communal nature of Halloween and the tradition of children going door to door for candy poses a number of challenges for annual activities.

In recent years, some communities have shifted away from kids going to neighborhood houses and instead offer group activities, in addition to some festivities pivoting away from October 31st entirely and instead celebrating Halloween on the final Saturday of the month. With two months to go before the holiday is in full swing, it's still unknown what the status of the pandemic will be in the weeks leading up to Halloween, nor do we know what will be determined to be the safest way to celebrate the spooky season.

As if the pandemic isn't enough reason to know that Halloween 2020 will be like no other, the appearance of a Blue Moon that night only reiterates the point.

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Header photo courtesy of Wassilios Aswestopoulos/NurPhoto via Getty Images