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Friday 31st July, 2015 saw the rare occurrence of a blue moon. So named due to the frequency of the event rather than the colour of the moon. It happens every few years when there are two full moons in the same calendar month. The next one won’t be until 2018, so it really only happens ‘once in a blue moon’.

It’s interesting how the word ‘moon’ features in many common sayings and phrases. For example,’ once in a blue moon’ refers to something extremely rare.

Other ‘moon’ based idioms can mean striving for the best, longing for something, pining for something, extravagant promises, being extremely happy or can relate to the length of a lunar cycle (around a calendar month).

One common term based on a lunar month is ‘honeymoon’ (a word used a lot in conjunction with our favourite topic of weddings!) This word is said to come from the 5th century when a man would have captured his bride. The couple would hide for a full cycle of the moon after the wedding. During this month the newlywed couple drank mead (or honey wine) which is believed to have aphrodisiac properties.

Nowadays, a honeymoon is the holiday that newlyweds choose to take after the wedding to celebrate their marriage and spend time alone together (and recover from the wedding!) Traditionally the honeymoon was organised and paid for by the groom.

Honeymoon destinations vary wildly from exotic or far flung places to romantic or sentimental locations. The world really is your oyster! If you’re going abroad, don’t forget to consider whether you’ll be travelling in your maiden name or married name (if you choose to change it). Whichever you decide, make sure your passport and tickets have the same name on them. See our checklist of other documents and organisations to tell about your change of name too.

So whether you’re planning your honeymoon now or you went ‘many moons ago’, we’re sure you’ll be ‘over the moon’ as your partner ‘promised you the moon’. Don’t ‘moon over’ the places you haven’t visited yet, instead make sure you ‘shoot for the moon’ and ensure your holidays away together are not just ‘once in a blue moon’.

And then there suddenly appeared before me
The only one my arms will ever hold
I heard somebody whisper please adore me
And when I looked the moon had turned to gold

Blue moon
Now I’m no longer alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own

Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart 1934