Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Spring begins this weekend, and Easter is on its way

By Mike Cook

Spring is on its way and Easter is not far behind, with a couple of full moons also in the mix of astrological and earthly events in March and April.

Spring 2022 begins as the vernal equinox occurs at approximately 9:32 am MDT Sunday, March 20.

The full moon that is the harbinger of spring, the Worm Moon (also called the Crow Comes Back, Wind Strong, Snow Crust, Sore Eyes, Goose, Sap and Sugar Moon) arrives two days earlier, at 1:17 am MDT Friday, March 18. It’s also 2022’s Lenten Moon, the last full moon before the vernal equinox.

The name Worm Moon likely refers to the earthworms that appear as the soil warms in spring. Or, according to alamanac.com, it could be because Massachusetts writer and explorer Capt. Jonathan Carver (1710-80) wrote that the name refers to beetle larvae emerging from their winter hideouts.

The April 2022 full moon is the Paschal (Greek and Latin for Passover) Moon because it is the first full moon after the spring equinox. Easter is always the third Sunday in the paschal lunar month. The April full moon is traditionally called the Pink Moon, named for creeping or moss phlox, also known as moss pink, an early spring wildflower native to eastern North America.

As the 2022 Pascal Moon is Saturday, April 16 (at 12:57 pm MDT), Easter is Sunday, April 17. At least that’s the case for western Christians, who follow the Gregorian calendar and the rules laid down by the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD The rule for the last nearly 1,800 years has been that Easter is the first Sunday after the 14th day of the pascal lunar month.

Eastern Christians follow the Julian calendar, which means there are usually two separate Easter celebrations every year.

The sun, the moon and the date of the Jewish feast of Passover are all part of the computus algorithm used to determine when Easter falls each year. There are even computus clocks and watches that automatically calculate the dates of Easter and other moveable church feasts.

There is no blue moon (the second full moon in a calendar month) in 2022. The next is Aug. 31, 2023.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac says the names it uses for full moons – and probably the ones most often cited by others – “come from Native American, Colonial American or other traditional North American sources passed down through generations.”

Visit www.almanac.com/full-moon-names.

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