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There's A Blood Moon on April 15th, What Does It Mean?

First Posted: Apr 03, 2014 10:02 AM EDT

The blood moon is coming on April 15! A spectacular, rare astronomical event will be happening on Tax Day -- so what does it mean, and what can we expect from this year's blood moon eclipse?

According to Web Pro News, the blood moon will be visible in the sky for about 77 minutes, beginning at 3:07 a.m., on April 15. The reason it is called a "blood" moon is because it glimmers bright red thanks to the radiation from the sun. Blood moons also happen during a total lunar eclipse, especially when there is extensive volcanic activity on the moon.

But this event will have significant meanings for those who believe in Judaism, because according to the Book of Genesis -- and the Hebrew Book of Joel -- when a Blood Moon falls on a major holiday, it fulfills a specific prophesy (the video explanation thereof is below) from those books.

This Blood Moon falls on the Jewish Passover; the next one is due to fall on the Feast of the Tabernacle (Oct. 8). 

But of course, it's not just those who practice Judaism that hold a special belief in the power of the Blood Moon. In Christianity, a Blood Moon signifies the Second Coming of Christ. 

Even the scientists are getting in on the fun: according to The Mercury News, this Blood Moon kicks off the start of four lunar eclipses that will be happening this year. The three other eclipses in the "tetrad" will be in October, April 2015 and September 2015. All will be visible in at least part of the United States. 

Traditionally speaking, the Blood Moon refers to the first full moon after the Harvest Moon, and is sometimes also called the Hunter's Moon. "Harvest Moon" and "Hunter's Moon" are traditional terms for the full moons occurring in autumn, usually in September and October, respectively. The "Harvest Moon" is the full moon closest to autumnal equinox, and the "Hunter's Moon" is the one following it. The names are recorded from the early 18th century. OED for "Harvest Moon" cites a 1706 reference, and for "Hunter's Moon" a 1710 edition of The British Apollo, where the term is attributed to "the country people" (The Country People call this the Hunters-Moon).

The names became traditional in American folklore, where they are now often popularly attributed to "the Native Americans." The Feast of the Hunters' Moon is a yearly festival in Lafayette, Indiana, held in late September or early October each year since 1968. In 2010, the Harvest moon occurred on the night of equinox itself (some 5 1⁄2 hours after the point of equinox) for the first time since 1991. 

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