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Lenten Moon

March 23, 2016

Man in the Moon ~ Holi ~ Uber Moon

Full Moon Over Mission San Xavier del Bac, Tuscon, Arizona

A full moon occurs when the Sun and the Moon are on opposite sides of the Earth at the same time. Occurring on a 29.53-day cycle, the full lunar phase in each month is known by many different names depending on the culture or religion.

The full moon in March is generally referred to as the Lenten Moon, as it occurs during the season of Lent observed by the Catholic Church.
It is usually the last full moon of winter.

This full moon was known as the Worm Moon by Algonquian Indians of North America, 
as this is when earthworms first become active after winter in the northern hemisphere. It has also been dubbed the Crow Moon, Magpie Moon, Crust Moon, Sugar Moon, Sap Moon, Chaste Moon, and the Death Moon.

Buddhists refer to the March full moon as Medin Poya while Hindus call it Basanta Poornima.

In 2015, the March full moon will occur at 18:06  (UT) on Thursday the 5th.

Man in the Moon

Look at what's rising: Luna, Selene, man in the Moon.

Much of the universe, as we know it, is strange and distant, full of lifeless orbs and wild cataclysms and dark voids. We know little about the quasars and nebulae and supernovae of outer space.

Through our telescopes we peer at stars and planets and galaxies, but how well do we really know them? We can only see what we can see.

The moon is different. It is closer to us than any other heavenly object, both physically and imaginatively. It has been part of our stories and dreams since the dawn of time. It's the stuff of nursery rhymes.

  -- continued in Rural Delivery


A major festival in India, Holi is celebrated on the full-moon day in the month of Phalgun, which is the month of March as per the Gregorian calendar.

This popular Hindu holiday marks the end of the winter and celebrates the bloom of spring with people applying colors to each other (abheer, which resembles glitter, and gulal, a washable organic powder) and throwing colors up in the air to show happiness. Special foods on this day include gujiya, malpuas, mathri, puran poli and dahi badas consumed with glasses of thandai, a cold drink.

Uber Moon

The 2011 Lenten Moon was at perigee, meaning the moon was at  its closest point to the earth in its orbit, making the moon appear bigger and brighter than usual. It was the first perigee full moon in almost 20 years and a notable event that won't occur again until 2029.

Good news, perhaps, since perigee full moons have often been asociated with catastrophic events.

There was a New England hurricane in 1938,  the Hunter Valley floods in 1955, Cyclone Tracy in 1974, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 - all near the date of lunar perigrees.

Did the 2011 ubermoon contribute to the earthquake in Japan and subsequent tsunami?  Who knows?

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