Mahina means moon or moonlight in Hawaiian.

And apparently, it’s a very common baby name as well. In searching the web, dozens of baby name sites for girls pop up. It’s interesting to note that some people may also have “mahina” as their last name. There was a point in Hawaii’s history when Hawaiians were forced by law to take their father’s given name as their surnames. Before that, Hawaiians didn’t have surnames, so they ended up making their middle name a surname.

While “mahina” can be commonly seen in names, it is also seen in the Hawaiian Lunar Month. Determined by the 29.5-day cycle of the moon, the lunar month is pided into three 10-day periods known as ‘anahulu.

The first 10-day period, or hoonui, begins on the first crescent. The second 10-day period, called poepoe, describes the moon when it becomes full and round. The last 9-10 days of the cycle is called emi, which means decreasing or waning. Hence, it’s when the moon is in its last quarter.

So far in the past year or so, Hawaii’s had quite the celestial show. We’ve seen a blue moon, red moon and even a super moon. Still waiting on our total lunar eclipse in 2014, though. That’ll definitely be a sight worth seeing.

Source: “Hawaiian Voyaging Tradition,” Kapiolani Community College

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