When the German author Michael Ende wrote »The Neverending Story« from 1977 to 1979, he created a milestone amongst the fantasy children and youth literature. The story about the shy boy Bastian Balthasar Bux on his adventure trip through the world of Fantastica, fascinated millions of readers of all age groups and has been translated into 40 languages up to date.
After USA and the Soviet Union, China will be the third nation in the world travelling to the Moon with their space program, and they will probably land there with the astronauts as well in the long term. At the moment, an unmanned spaceship »Chang’e-3« (moon fairy) is on its way to the Moon since 1st December 2013, planning to land in the Mare Ibrium on 14th December and supposed to transport a rover for research purposes of the Moon’s surface. The vehicle is called »Yutu« (jade rabbit).
When looking at the Moon, how slowly it travels across the night sky, one could easily forget that we are moving with a staggering speed through space with our Earth and our Moon. Furthermore, there is the rotation of the orbs to each other, which remains hidden from our senses as well. Only the mind knows of these astronomic connections and only for a short period of time (measured by our existence).
Who does not know the »moon boots« – these bulky snow boots, which appeared in the 70’s and 80’s and have taken their claim ever since in the winterly fashion scene. The Italian Giancarlo Zanatta designed the shoes, inspired by the moon landing in 1969. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin wore overshoes with wide soles, which provided the formal inspiration for moon boots. Zanatta took immediate care of the production of the shoes with his company called Tecnica, which is run by his son Alberto Zanatta today, and still sells up to 700,000 pair per year.
The German painter Lovis Corinth (1858–1925) is considered one of the most important representatives of German Impressionism, in his late work also Expressionism. In 1919, his wife built a house for him at the Lake Walchen, south of Munich in the Bavarian Alps. The following years, he spent a lot of time there and derived his inspiration from the landscape and lighting atmosphere for numerous paintings, which often show Lake Walchen.
In June or July of each year, students commemorate their spiritual teachers (Gurus) with a big festival in India, but also in many parts of Asia. This festival is always celebrated at a full moon (Purnima):
3rd July 2012 [*]
22nd July 2013
12th July 2014
31st July 2015
In Hinduism, this day is also dedicated to the wise Vyasa who is connected to vital Indian writings, like the Vedas, a significant collection of religious scripts.
On Wednesday, 15th June 2011 (or Thursday 16th June for certain time zones) is full moon and a total lunar eclipse at the same time. However, it will only be completely visible in the Near and Middle East. In Asia and Australia, the moon will be already set and in Europe and Africa, the moon will be just rising by the time the lunar eclipse takes place. In America, this event won’t be visible at all.
Ansel Adams (1902–1984) was one of the most influential photographers in the US, who particularly became famous for his magnificent black and white photography of American landscapes and national parks. He is the role model of many photographers and set standards with his shots. And as chance would have it, one of his most renowned photographs is an image with the rising Moon in New Mexico.
It is fascinating how the French writer Jules Verne (1828–1905) envisaged the journey to the Moon 100 years in advance in his science fiction novels and was able to put it into words. Admittedly, he was quite taken with describing journeys to unimaginable places: from the deep sea (“20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”), via the circumnavigation of the Earth (“Around the World in 80 Days”) through to the interior of the Earth (“Journey to the Center of the Earth”). Of course, space had to be part of this and this is how Jules Verne firstly wrote the novel “From the Earth to the Moon” (»De la Terre à la Lune«, 1865) and then later the sequel “Around the Moon” (»Autour de la Lune«, 1870).
As already mentioned before, the Moon assumes a special status in Asia as well. There are a few important festivals, which are closely connected to the Moon, like for example the Moon Festival and the Lantern Festival in China, or many celebrations in Buddhism and Hinduism.
In Malaysia, in South East Asia, there is a traditional kite called »wau bulan«, whereas »wau« stands for kite and »bulan« for the Moon. The kite got its name because of its moon crescent-shaped lower part. When you fly this kite, it supposed to remind of the rising Moon.