Oct. 31 (UPI) — October will have its second full moon — a rare Blue Moon — beginning Saturday and lasting through Sunday.
The moon appears at its fullest, opposite the sun in earth-based longitude, at 10:49 a.m. EDT on Saturday, according to NASA. It should appear full through Sunday night.
The first full moon after the Harvest Moon — which appeared Oct. 1 this year — is also called the Hunter’s Moon, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, a moniker that appears in the Oxford English Dictionary dating back to 1710.
This full moon will appear smaller Saturday night because it occurs nearest to the time when the moon is farthest in its orbit from the Earth, at its apogee, so NASA calls it a “Micro Moon” as opposed to a Supermoon.
In astronomical terms, Blue Moons occur with a regular pattern about once every two and a half years. After October 2020, the next Blue Moon will take place in August 2023. A full moon will occur on Halloween once every 19 years in the 21st century.
The Native American name for the second full moon of autumn is the Beaver Moon, also called the Frost or Frosty Moon, or the Snow Moon, NASA says.
In North America, the deer rut mating season is in full swing and snow geese arrive at the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and southern Delaware. The Old Farmer’s Almanac says it’s best to plant garlic and dig up sweet potatoes during the Hunter’s Moon.
In the Indian subcontinent, this full moon coincides with the end of monsoon rains, and is called the Sharad Purnima, coinciding with Hindu festivals marking the end of the rainy season.
Buddhist names for the full moon mark the end of Vassa, or the three-month retreat also called the Buddhist Lent.
The full moon falls near the end of the Buddhist Hpaung Daw U festival in Myanmar and Indochina which lasts between Oct. 17 and Nov. 3. In Thailand, this full moon coincides with the Loi Krathong festival, in which decorated baskets are floated in rivers.