17:14 GMT19 October 2020
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    As if 2020 wasn’t bad enough, Halloween, that spooky holiday at the end of October that celebrates all things murky and macabre, is going to fall on a full “blue” moon, the second full moon in a single calendar month.

    With the lunar cycle running 28 days, fitting two full moons into a single 31-day period is hard enough. But what about one falling on a specific day, like October 31, when Americans celebrate Halloween? Well, one is coming at the end of October 2020, the first time since 1944.

    Full moons are associated with many bad things, from causing werewolves to transform from men into beasts and causing people to act crazy (the word “lunatic” comes from “luna”, i.e. the moon). While the ability of the lunar cycle to affect humans’ moods is still being debated, the Wall Street Journal reported that another common superstition - that emergency room admissions spike when the moon’s bright side is fully facing the Earth - has no statistical basis.

    That’s unlikely to cool the nerves of any doctor in 2020, which seems to be the exception to every rule.

    October already had a full moon, on October 2 - the same day US President Donald Trump was admitted to the hospital with symptoms of COVID-19 - which makes its second full moon a “blue moon” in common parlance. The color of the moon in the sky won’t change from its white-gold hue, of course.

    The October 31 full moon - the second full moon of autumn - has another nickname, too: the Full Corn Moon or Barley Moon, in some parts of the US, likely referring to the final harvest times for those crops.

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    Tags:
    Blue Moon, superstitions, 2020, Halloween, full moon
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