old farmers almanac
Welcome to the Winter Solstice. ~Vic
From Why Christmas:
The evergreen Fir Tree has traditionally been used to celebrate winter festivals (Pagan and Christian) for thousands of years. Pagans used branches of it to decorate their homes during the winter solstice, as it made them think of the spring to come. The Romans used Fir Trees to decorate their temples at the festival of Saturnalia. Christians use it as a sign of everlasting life with God.
I did a complete write-up in 2018 on the Hunter’s Moon so, I won’t repeat it, here. That being said, this is a Blue Moon as October’s first full moon fell on…well…the first.
From Moon Giant:
Humans through the ages have always found autumn’s full moons to be creepy and not without good reason. [T]his year, the moon will be extra exciting. The month starts with the Harvest Moon on October 1st and a second Blue Moon on Halloween, October 31st. The Harvest Moon is the Full Moon that falls closest to the Autumnal Equinox on September 22nd. In most years, the September Full Moon lands closest but, this is one of the rare years that the October Full Moon falls very early in the month and closest to the Equinox. This makes the first Full Moon the Harvest Moon and, the second, the Full Hunter’s Moon.
More from Moon Giant:
The modern day definition of a Blue Moon is when there are 2 Full Moons in one month. A Full Moon occurs roughly every 29.5 days and, on the rare occasion when the Full Moon falls at the very beginning of a month, there is a good chance a Blue Moon will occur at the end of the month. Depending on the exact time of the Blue Moon it is possible that some places in the world don’t technically have a Blue Moon. The modern definition […] was derived from an earlier idea of what a Blue Moon was. This earlier definition says a Blue Moon is when there are [four] Full Moons in a season rather than the usual [three]. The Blue moon is the 3rd Full Moon out of the 4. This definition gets a bit complicated and its origins are murky. One school of thought has to do with the naming of the Full Moons. Many cultures named the Full Moons each month to reflect the times for planting, harvesting or seasonal conditions. When an extra Full Moon was thrown in it was referred to as a Blue Moon to keep the Full Moon names constant throughout the year. The idea of a Blue Moon being the extra full Moon in a season (or when there were 13 in a year) was widely used in 19th, and early 20th [century], Farmers Almanacs and the more modern version seems to have come from an article written in the 1930s that misinterpreted the Farmers Almanac definition. The article was titled “Once in a Blue Moon” and from that point on, the term became part of the popular culture.
From Time and Date:
Why is it called a Blue Moon? The historical origins of the term and its two definitions are shrouded in a bit of mystery and, by many accounts, an interpretation error. Some believe that the term “blue moon”, meaning something rare, may have originated from when smoke and ashes after a volcanic eruption turned the Moon blue. Others trace the term’s origin to over 400 years ago. [F]olklorist Philip Hiscock has suggested that invoking the Blue Moon once meant that something was absurd and would never happen. This Halloween Blue Moon […] is also a Micro Full Moon.
100% illumination occurred at 10:49am EDT. ~Vic
I dropped the ball and missed posting about our Summer Solstice. I did catch some pictures, though and a Snapshots Sunday is a perfect reason to post them. I posted about the Solstice in 2018, shortly after I had started blogging, again, after a four year absence. I did an Almanac write-up on the Solstice in 2019. This year’s Solstice occurred at 5:44pm EDT, yesterday. ~Vic
♦ In ancient Egypt, the summer solstice coincided with the rising of the Nile River. As it was crucial to predict this annual flooding, the Egyptian New Year began at this important solstice.
♦ In centuries past, the Irish would cut hazel branches on solstice eve to be used in searching for gold, water and precious jewels.
♦ Many European cultures hold what are known as Midsummer celebrations at the solstice, which include gatherings at Stonehenge and the lighting of bonfires on hilltops.
I also didn’t have any immediate shots because of the weather and wound up posting some older pictures. Earlier, I thought the weather wasn’t going to cooperate tonight, either and I shared some older pix, below. But, it rose beautifully, without much cloud interference. It is a bit hazy, tho. I saved it for last. All photos are my personal collection ©, unless otherwise stated.
Full illumination occurs at 10:35pm EDT. Howl for me! ~Vic
Well, Spring has finally sprung and not a moment too soon. I’m sitting in my Adirondack chair, with my bare feet on the ground, watching the sunset through the limbs of my Hackberry tree. Yes, I have short feet. Shut up. (All photos are my personal collection. ©)
According to the Farmers’ Almanac 1818, this is the earliest First Day of Spring in 124 years. Yahoo! Maybe some warm, beautiful weather will offset the corona beer virus and this needless, manufactured hysteria that has appeared with it.
I did a Vernal Equinox post last year when it coincided with the Full Worm Moon. In our area, it was as high as 80° and I was out in it. My buddy Ray had some errands to run so, off we went to the county north of us. Once the errands were completed, we headed to downtown Roxboro for lunch & a minor visit to their museum (pictures coming tomorrow).
From Farmers’ Almanac 1818:
[Spring] will occur at 11:50 p.m. EDT for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere […]. Traditionally, we celebrate the first day of spring on March 21 but, astronomers and calendar manufacturers, alike, now say that the spring season starts on March 20th, in all time zones in North America. And, in 2020, it’s even a day earlier than that…something that hasn’t happened since 1896.
There are a few reasons why seasonal dates can vary from year to year. The first is that a year is not an even number of days and neither are the seasons. Another reason is that the earth’s elliptical orbit is changing its orientation (skew), which causes the earth’s axis to constantly point in a different direction, called precession. Since the seasons are defined as beginning at strict 90-degree intervals, these positional changes affect the time the earth reaches each 90-degree location in its orbit around the sun. The pull of gravity from the other planets also affects the location of the earth in its orbit.
Additional Interesting Reading:
First Day of Spring (The Old Farmer’s Almanac 1792)
Last year, the Full Worm Moon coincided with the Vernal Equinox. This year, the Worm Moon will be at full illumination at 1:47pm, today. I got some shots of it, earlier (actually, wee hours of the morning).
I did a complete write-up on the Worm Moon on my 2019 post with all of the interesting and varied Native American names. This year, our Worm Moon is a Supermoon, though that isn’t really a true and official ‘astronomical’ term. It’s more of an astrological description and, apparently, was coined by astrologer Richard Nolle. The technical term is perigee syzygy, with perigee referring to the closeness of the Moon to the Earth and syzygy referring to a straight-line astronomical configuration of three celestial bodies. Depending upon that configuration, there might be a solar eclipse or a lunar eclipse. Supermoons also bring higher tides. This Moon is the last full moon of Winter. Howl for me! ~Vic
I did a Beaver Moon post last year with background information and alternate names. I won’t duplicate the information, here…just some new pictures.
100% illumination occurred, here, at 8:34am EST.
All pictures are my personal collection ©. Howl for me! ~Vic
Old Farmer’s Almanac
Now that I have gotten the Billboard nonsense off of my chest, today is the first day of Autumn. The Equinox of 2018 fell on September 22. I wasn’t out and about, today so, no pix but, I do have some from last year.
The Equinox for our area occurred at 3:50am EDT. ~Vic
I did a Harvest Moon post last year and, once again, I can’t get any pix of tonight’s moon. We have an incredible low ceiling and I haven’t seen the sun all day. On a positive note, a low ceiling makes sound travel farther and I can hear the local high school football game from three miles away. The last time there was a full moon on Friday the 13th, it was January of 2006 and it wasn’t here. Technically, my area won’t be full illumination until 12:33am EDT but, the rest of the country, westward…Jason might turn into a werewolf.
I DO have some shots from September 15, 2016, tho, taken with my, then, Samsung S5.
From Moon Giant:
September’s Full Moon was called the Full Corn Moon or Harvest Moon by the early North American Farmers. The term “Harvest Moon” refers to the Full Moon that occurs closest to the Autumnal Equinox. The Full Moon closest to this Equinox rises about 20 minutes later each night as apposed to the rest of the year when the moon rises around 50 minutes later each night. In the northern hemisphere, the Full Harvest Moon rises very soon after sunset, providing plenty of bright light for farmers harvesting their summer crops. September’s full moon is so well-known for its luminosity and brilliance that certain Native American tribes even named it the Big Moon. The Full Harvest Moon holds major cultural significance in many different communities, who spend this full moon not just celebrating the fall harvest but, also, the moon itself.
The most widely known tradition associated with the Full Harvest Moon is the Mid-Autumn Festival, celebrated by Chinese communities all around the world. It is also known as the Mooncake Festival. On the full moon night of the eighth lunar month, people gather with friends and family to admire the brilliant full moon while eating mooncakes and drinking tea. Mooncakes are a rich pastry traditionally filled with sweet bean paste, or lotus seed paste, and sometimes, even include salted egg yolks. The sweet osmanthus flower also blooms during this time and, is often used in teas and the reunion wine drunk when visiting with family. It is a common tradition to celebrate by carrying brightly colored lanterns. [You] can often enjoy the beautiful sight of lanterns hanging in front of buildings or in parks, or sky lanterns floating towards the full moon.
The Japanese celebrate this full moon with the Tsukimi tradition (which literally means moon-viewing in Japanese), where people prepare offerings to the moon and eat round tsukimi dango, or rice dumplings. In Korea, this full moon is celebrated as Chuseok, which is one of Korea’s most major holidays, similar to Thanksgiving. People travel back to their hometowns for reunions with their family and tend to their ancestors’ graves. Traditional activities include exchanging gifts, playing folk games, drinking rice wine, and eating songpyeon, which is a rice cake shaped like a half-moon.
[The] Full Harvest Moon is called the Nut Moon by the Cherokee tribes, who gather all sorts of nuts to make nut bread, which is eaten during harvest festivals such as the Ripe Corn Festival. During this moon, Native American tribes pay respects to Mother Earth for her generosity in providing food for her children, including corn and other staple foods. Chinese communities, on the other hand, spend the Mid-Autumn Festival worshipping the Moon Goddess, Chang’e.
Just as I was creating this post, our clouds cleared. I got a couple of different shots as I was experimenting with my phone’s camera settings.
Howl for me! ~Vic
I did a post last year, celebrating the Summer Solstice of 2018. I got some really cool pictures that day. I got a few this year with some visitations from nature.
If anyone can identify my caterpillar, let me know. ~Vic
The Summer Solstice for our area of the planet was at 11:45am EDT.
The word “solstice” comes from Latin solstitium — from sol (Sun) and stitium (still or stopped), reflecting the fact that on the solstice, the Sun appears to stop “moving” in the sky as it reaches its northern or, southernmost point (declination) for the year, as seen from Earth. After the solstice, the Sun appears to reverse course and head back in the opposite direction. The motion referred to here is the apparent path of the Sun when one views its position in the sky at the same time each day, for example at local noon. Over the year, its path forms a sort of flattened figure eight, called an analemma. Of course, the Sun, itself, is not moving (unless you consider its own orbit around the Milky Way Galaxy). Tnstead, this change in position in the sky that we on Earth notice is caused by the tilt of Earth’s axis as it orbits the Sun, as well as Earth’s elliptical, rather than circular, orbit. The timing of the June solstice is not based on a specific calendar date or time. It all depends on when the Sun reaches its northernmost point from the equator.
Did you know that the Sun actually sets more slowly around the time of a solstice, in that it takes longer to set below the horizon? This is related to the angle of the setting Sun. The farther the Sun sets from due west along the horizon, the shallower the angle of the setting Sun. (Conversely, it’s faster at or near the equinoxes.) Bottom-line, enjoy those long romantic summertime sunsets at or near the solstice!
Many cultures, both ancient and modern, celebrate the sunlight with rituals and holidays. Every year on the summer solstice, thousands of people travel to Wiltshire, England, to Stonehenge […]. There are many Midsummer celebrations all over the planet.