BY Hannah Bunn Kristen Nieto and Ashley Talley
Each month a new celestial body reflects in the ocean below
From pop culture we know Harvest Moon as a great Neil Young album and the term “Pink Moon” perhaps brings to mind a Nick Drake song that became popular a few years ago from a dreamy Volkswagen commercial. We may only consider the names given to our celestial bodies “once in a blue moon ” without ever wondering where the term itself originated. For Native Americans and other past cultures however lunar cycles marked time and measured seasons and as full moons occur every 29.5 days on average the names the tribes assigned them were used to designate the entire month in which they occurred.
A moon by any other name would shine as bright
These names were mostly used by Native American tribes in the northern and eastern United States moving west a bit when parts of the Algonquin tribe migrated to the Great Lakes area. Though most moon folklore predates modern Christian tradition European settlers also named celestial bodies in relation to their own festivals feasts and holidays. The two full moons in the heart of winter then became the Moon Before Yule and the Moon After Yule and the one occurring in March or April was known as the Easter or Paschal Full Moon.
During the cold bleak weeks that are now called January Native Americans noted the Full Wolf Moon when roving hungry animals prowled around their villages in search of food.
February’s moon was dubbed the Snow Moon also called the Hunger Moon for the extreme weather and little food it provided.
Like sailors using the sky as their map ancient civilizations watched the heavens for changes to their earthly world. The Farmer’s Almanac claims Native Americans called the first full moon of March the Worm Moon for the earthworms that appeared in the thawing ground bringing robins and spring in their wake. Christian settlers named it the Lenten Moon and used it as a mark for the end of long and tedious winters.
The Pink Moon of April was named for phlox that sprouted and bloomed in the moonlight though coastal tribes called it the Full Fish Moon to mark the time when many fish swam upstream to spawn.
May was known as the Full Flower Moon for the abundance of flowers that grow during the late spring. Other names include Corn Planting Moon or the Milk Moon.
June the Strawberry Moon is also named for its offerings though in Europe the Rose Moon was the more usual name for the time at the beginning of summer.
The first full moon of July the hottest and fiercest month of the year was known as the Full Buck Moon for the animals’ antlers that sprang up during it or alternately the Full Thunder or Full Hay Moon depending on the origin of the tribe.
August’s moon was known as the Full Sturgeon Moon for the huge fish in the Great Lakes and other large bodies of water that were easily caught during this period.
Perhaps the most well known the Harvest Moon occurs in September every two out of three years and is the closest full moon to the fall equinox. This moon is different in that it rises at nearly the same time for several days on end in closer time intervals than the usual 50-minute difference at other times of the year. The expanded amount of light allowed busy farmers more hours of visibility to reap their crops which during the inception of the moon’s name included corn pumpkins squash beans and wild rice.
The first full moon of October brings the Hunter’s Moon named for the period of autumn when the deer were fat from summer feeding the falling leaves ensured good visibility and hunting game became easier for tribes trying to lay up food for the coming cold months.
For similar reasons November’s moon was termed the Full Beaver Moon demarcating the time to set out traps for the animals to ensure skins to be made into warm clothing and foot gear for the fast-approaching winter.
The final month of our calendar was known for its Full Cold or Full Long Nights Moon when the nights were literally the longest of the year with the reduced amount of daylight that winter brings.
With all of these logical and descriptive names where does the famous blue moon fit in and what exactly is it?
It is both a well-known Rodgers and Hart song to be sure and a popular Belgian white ale. It’s a species of butterfly a bluegrass song covered by Elvis Bill Monroe and Paul McCartney and the title of almost 10 movies. But just where does the term itself originate?
A Blue Moon is often thought to be the rare occurrence of a second full moon in a single calendar month making the expression “once in a blue moon” mean infrequently or hardly ever. But Dr. Philip Hiscock a Canadian professor of folklore points out in an article he wrote several years ago “The term Blue Moon has been around a long time more than 400 years but its calendrical meaning has become widespread only in the last 20 years.” The term itself is a flub he indicates; it was defined erroneously in a 1946 article in Earth & Sky magazine and not retracted until 2006 when it was pointed out that the definition should be an extra full moon in a season that typically has only three. By the time of the retraction however popular culture had embraced the first meaning and the phrase has become ubiquitous in modern parlance. Look for the next Blue Moon in May of 2008.
Whether knowing the names of the moon increases the enjoyment of the sight of it is debatable but there’s something lovely about looking into the silvery glow of a full moon and knowing it is called the Strawberry Moon or the Long Nights Moon. Next time you’re enjoying a bright evening with a big moon hanging low in the sky think of the past cultures that used the very same sight as a guidepost for their lives. — Ashley Talley
Teatro Lirico d’Europa performs Tosca
On Wednesday January 23 in Kenan Auditorium on the UNCW campus the Wilmington Concert Association will present Teatro Lirico d’Europa performing Puccini’s Tosca. Teatro Lirico d’Europa is the most successful opera touring company in Europe and the U.S. It was created in 1986 and has since completed more than 3 000 performances worldwide including numerous major U.S. tours. The company travels with a symphonic orchestra a large chorus and professional dancers. Soloists for its productions are chosen from auditions held in major cities around the world. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $50 for the general public $15 for students. To purchase tickets or to receive more information call the Kenan Auditorium box office at (910) 962-3500 or 800-732-3643. — Kristen Nieto
The pinball wizard rocks City Stage
Get ready to rock! In its inimitable all-bets-are-off style Level 5 at City Stage will present the classic rock opera Tommy on January 4-6 11-13 18-20 and 25-27. Written by legendary Who guitarist Pete Townsend the album by The Who was originally released in 1969 was made into a film in 1975 and was produced as a Broadway musical in 1993 where it won five Tony awards. This powerhouse story of the deaf dumb and blind Tommy Walker fuses the magic of live theater with the passion of rock and roll. The play tips its hat to a new constitution by confronting controversial political propaganda that still strikes nerves today. Tickets range from $12-$22. To make a reservation call Level 5 at City Stage at (910) 342-0272. — Kristen Nieto
Can’t stomach the waves?
Tried and true seasickness remedies
There’s nothing like a bout of seasickness to ruin a beautiful day on the water and here in Wrightsville Beach we’re surrounded by water. You’re bound to find yourself out on a boat sooner or later so here are a few tried and true remedies that may help you set sail with confidence.
For starters there are some simple things you can do to prevent seasickness — which is caused by your inner ear detecting that your equilibrium and balance have been thrown off. Your position on the boat can be very important. Stay low and toward the stern where there is the least amount of motion. Avoid going below deck or in a cabin. Stay outside and above deck where you can see the horizon and be in the fresh air.
If your tendency to get seasick is more intense try wrist bands. Sea-Band an elastic band that puts pressure on an acupressure point on the wrist prevents nausea and vomiting and is a popular remedy. There are also electronic bands that stimulate the nerves in the wrist to inhibit nausea such as ReliefBand and the TravelMate motion sickness band.
For an over-the-counter fix try Bonine a highly recommended chewable tablet that prevents motion sickness. For severe cases prescription strength remedies are available. Scopalamine is the active ingredient found in these products including the scopolamine patch and Scopace pills.
Lastly ginger root is an effective natural defense against seasickness for its ability to quickly settle the stomach. It can be found in a variety of forms including fresh in capsules powders sodas even candy and cookies. — Hannah Bunn
Never before seen
Hidden Battleship tour
The USS North Carolina sits with dignity and majesty across the river from Historic Downtown Wilmington. Guests arrive all year long to take the tour walk her decks learn her history and envision life in the Pacific theater during World War II. For years the Battleship U.S.S. North Carolina has been a must-see for locals and visitors alike. But now for the first time ever guests will be able to experience her like no one has ever experienced her before. On January 26 a guide will lead a two-hour Hidden Battleship tour. Guests will walk through rooms not featured on the regular tour such as the officers’ staterooms the brig engine rooms and control tower where the view of the Port City is phenomenal. Price of admission is $40 and includes a regular tour should you choose to stay for one. The Hidden Battleship tour is for patrons ages 12 and over. To purchase tickets or for more information call Shelly Robinson at (910) 251-5797 ext. 3001 or visit www.battleshipnc.com. — Kristen Nieto
Uniting the world’s youth through music
Fulfillment Fest — Jerusalem
One in Christ Ministries a worship group based in Moravian Falls N.C. has received permission to host “Fulfillment Fest — Jerusalem” next year. The music and ministry festival will take place from May 28 to June 10 2008 in Israel atop the Mount of Olives. Neil Blake Wilmington resident and leader of One in Christ Ministries says the purpose of the event is to spread the love of God among Jews and Christians alike and to unite the youth of America and Israel through song and praise. More than 30 bands will travel overseas to Israel to perform at the festival. A minimum of $1million in donations will be needed to transport the bands and pay for land use event security and other travel and concert particulars. One in Christ Ministries will host a fundraising luncheon on January 14 — from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Warwick Center on the UNCW campus — to raise money for this monumental event. There will be room for 300 guests at the luncheon and individuals will be asked to donate to this exciting cause. Substantial donors will have a table reserved for their party which will feature video footage of Jerusalem speakers and testimonial from youths involved with the festival. For more information on the festival or luncheon contact Wes Blake at (910) 262-2841. — Hannah Bunn
Thalian Hall welcomes Don Vappie
Don Vappie and the Creole Jazz Serenaders will perform at Thalian Hall on Friday January 18. The band’s leader Don Vappie is a master banjo guitar and bass player. He and the Serenaders have received the Big Easy Award for New Orleans’ Best Traditional Band and have made a name for themselves in the world of jazz. Let their winning sound whisk you away to New Orleans with songs by Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton Joe “King” Oliver and others. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets range from $20 to $28. To purchase tickets or to receive more information call the Thalian Hall Box Office at (910) 343-3664 or 1-800-523-2820. — Kristen Nieto
Music to your ears
28th Annual North Carolina Jazz Festival
January marks the Cape Fear Jazz Society’s 28th Annual North Carolina Jazz Festival. The event will be held in the Hilton Wilmington Riverside ballroom from Thursday January 31 to Saturday February 2 and will kick off with a performance by the UNCW Big Band. Musicians from all over the U.S. and Canada including John “Bucky” Pizzarrelli Ed Metz Jr. and John Cocuzzi will perform throughout the festival. Tickets are $30 for Thursday night and $50 for Friday and Saturday. For patrons attending the festival and staying overnight at the hotel festival-hotel packages are $175 for two days and $200 for three days. For festival-hotel package guests there will be a Saturday brunch where musically inclined patrons will have the opportunity to play with the all-stars. “This year’s going to be bigger and better than ever ” says the society’s past president Sandy Evans. More than 1 200 people attend this always-popular event so to make overnight reservations contact the Hilton Wilmington Riverside at 888-324-8170 or (910) 763-5900. To reserve one-day-only tickets or for more information call Evans at (910) 793-1111 or visit www.capefearjazz.com. — Kristen Nieto
Whittaker Bay makes its debut
Watch out The O.C. move over Laguna Beach a new television series is coming to the Azalea Coast. The production and filming of Whittaker Bay a new young adult drama series has been in progress since May 2007. “The series is about the families and social lives of high school kids ” says associate producer Ryan McInnis. “It’s relationships life … it’s drama.” So far eight episodes have been shot on location in Wrightsville Beach Carolina Beach and Historic Downtown Wilmington. “The response has been phenomenal. The whole city has been really excited and all of the towns and locations involved have been really helpful ” says McInnis. “Town manager Bob Simpson was instrumental in helping us get where we needed to be with this project and also the Logan family from Wrightsville Beach. They opened their home to us for filming and we owe them forever.” H2O Entertainment hosted the red-carpet premiere of Whittaker Bay on December 9 at Thalian Hall where the pilot episode and a season preview of the series were shown. The show has a five-year international distribution deal guaranteeing its spot on television and there are plans to film more episodes this year. Don’t miss the television premiere of Whittaker Bay on Saturday January 5 at 11:30 a.m. on Superstation WGN. — Hannah Bunn
History for sale
38th Annual Antique Show and Sale
For three days this month January 25-27 the North Carolina Junior Sorosis will host its 38th Annual Antique Show and Sale at the Coast Line Convention Center. More than 35 dealers from across North Carolina South Carolina and Virginia will set up an array of antiques for sale and some priceless pieces just for spectacle. The sale boasts a wide variety of antiques including jewelry furniture linens silver and glassware with metal and crystal restoration specialists on hand. This event is the sole fundraiser of the N.C. Junior Sorosis and the proceeds benefit many local organizations including the Boys and Girls Home the Lower Cape Fear Hospice New Hanover County Public Schools and the Cape Fear Museum to name a few. The sales also fund two academic scholarships. The show will be from 10 a.m – 6 p.m. Friday January 25; Saturday January 26; and from 12-5 on Sunday January 27. Admission is $5. For more information contact Courtney Wilson at (910) 262-6161 or Nicole Rollins at (910) 686-3029. — Hannah Bunn