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Digital Subscriptions > Family Tree > Family Tree July 2019 > Lunar tales

Lunar tales

Charlotte Soares waxes lyrical about the moon as she explores its magnificent power in life, language and legend


Buzz Aldrin walks on the surface of the moon on 20 July 1969 in this photograph taken by fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong

Many festivals are timed by the phases of the moon. Easter is the Sunday after full moon after the spring equinox. Passover uses a lunar calendar, falling on the 14th day of the seventh lunar month at full moon. The Chinese at their moon festival at full moon in autumn, eat special moon cakes. Monday is moon day.

We may no longer be pagans, but our traditions are based on the moon’s cycle, moon meaning measurer of time, month, its cycle. The hours of the day were once measured by sundials using sunlight. A few moon dials existed needing full moon light, but mostly night was measured as the duration between sunset and sunrise. When clocks were invented and became more sophisticated, moon dials were added showing phases, and later a rolling scene with stars and a moon with a face was a common feature of grandfather clocks.

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About Family Tree

We're all busy in today's 24/7 world - but we've got solutions to help you make the most of that precious time and take your family history to the next level... 1. Discover how to transform your approach to your ancestral research in our 20-minute read by professional genealogist Susie Douglas. 2. Make that dream of writing up your family history a reality with our simple strategy for writing up your family history in #1,000words". 3. And never overlook the value of those core vital records. This issue we're exploring 500 years of marriage records and showing you how to use them on your family quest. Plus more than 25 websites to transform your Irish genealogy, memories of the moon landings in this 50th anniversary year, and so much more... Enjoy!