Don’t Miss the Next Full Moon – The Snow, Storm, and Hunger Moon

Snow, Storm, and Hunger Moon

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Credit: NASA/Bill Dunford

The Next Full Moon is the Snow, Storm, and Hunger Moon; the Moon of the Purim Holiday; the Chinese Lantern Festival; Magha Purnima and the Kumbh Mela Pilgrimage to Haridwar; and Māgha Pūjā.

The next complete Moon will be early Saturday early morning, February 27, 2021, appearing opposite the Sun in Earth-based longitude at 3: 17 AM EST. This will be on Friday night from Alaska’s timezone westward to the International Date Line. The Moon will appear complete for about 3 days around this time, from Thursday night through Sunday early morning.

In the 1930’s the Maine Farmer’s Almanac started releasing “Indian” Moon names for each month of the year. These names have actually ended up being popular and extensively understood. According to this almanac, as the complete Moon in February, the people of what is now the northeastern United States called this the Snow Moon or the Storm Moon due to the fact that of the heavy snows that fall in this season. The last time I inspected (which was a number of years ago), NOAA long-lasting regular monthly averages for the Washington, DC location revealed January and February were almost connected as the snowiest months of the year. Bad weather condition and heavy snowstorms made searching tough, so this Moon was likewise called the Hunger Moon. Across North America there are several Native American names for the complete Moons.

Sunset on Thursday, February 25 to nightfall on Friday, February 26, 2021, will be the Purim vacation in the Hebrew calendar. Purim is commemorated on the 14th day of Adar in the Hebrew calendar (or on the 15th in Jerusalem and ancient walled cities). This suggests it takes place prior to the complete Moon in Adar. Purim marks the Jewish individuals’s deliverance from a royal death decree around the 4th century BCE, as informed in the Book of Esther and is commemorated by exchanging presents of food and beverage, feasting, and contributing to charity.

February 26, 2021, will be the Chinese Lantern Festival. This is the conventional end of the Chinese New Year events and is hung on the 15th day of the very first month of the Chinese Calendar.

In the Purnimanta custom that ends the months on the complete Moon day, this complete Moon (purnima) is Magha Purnima, the last day of the month of Magha. In the Hindu and Buddhist calendars, Magha is the lunar month when the complete Moon remains in the lunar estate which contains the star we call Regulus. For Hindus, Magha is a month for austerity, carrying out acts of charity, and routine bathing at the confluence of 3 rivers (triveni sangam) and other holy riverside places. At 4 of these places significant expeditions and celebrations are in some cases held based upon the position the Sun, Moon, and the world Jupiter in various zodiac constellations. Some variations of Hindu legend state that drops from a pot of the nectar of immortality spilled onto Earth at these places. The name for these celebrations, Kumbh Mela, originates from the Sanskrit words for “pitcher” or “pot” and the words for “meet” or “assemble.” This year (2021) will be the Kumbh Mela at Haridwar, a holy website where the river Ganges leaves the foothills of the Himalayas and goes into the Indo-Gangetic Plain. There are stringent COVID-19 standards in location at Haridwar for the security of the pilgrims.

For Buddhists, this complete Moon refers Māgha Pūjā, the second-most essential celebration of the year. Māgha Pūjā is commemorated on the complete Moon day of the 3rd lunar month in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Sri Lanka; and on the complete Moon day of Tabaung in Myanmar. It commemorates an event of the Buddha with 1,250 of his very first disciples, which, according to custom, preceded the customized of regular recitation of discipline by monks. On the day, Buddhists commemorate the development of a perfect and excellent neighborhood, which is why it is in some cases called Saṅgha Day, Saṅgha describing the Buddhist neighborhood. In Thailand, the Pāli term Māgha-pūraṇamī is likewise utilized for the event. Some authors described this day as the Buddhist All Saints Day. In Sri Lanka, Māgha Pūjā is likewise observed with a procession of around 5,000 individuals and lots of elephants, called Gangarama Navam.

In most lunar and lunisolar calendars the months alter with the brand-new Moon and complete Moons fall in the middle of the lunar month. This complete Moon is the middle of the very first month of the Chinese calendar, Adar in the Hebrew calendar, and Rajab in the Islamic calendar. Rajab is among the 4 spiritual months in which warfare and battling are prohibited.

As normal, the using of appropriately celebratory celestial clothes is motivated in honor of the complete Moon. Stay warm; look out for snowstorms; prevent beginning wars; do what you can to minimize cravings consisting of presents of food and other acts of charity; and when the weather condition is clear make the most of these early nightfalls to go out, search for, and share the marvels of the sky!

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