Vernal Equinox & Worm Moon 2019

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Vernal Equinox Image One
Image Credit:

Spwing has spwung! Well, maybe not. I understand that the Northeast US is getting hit by a ‘Nor’easter‘ at the moment. But, as I am typing this, the official arrival time of the Vernal (Spring) Equinox was 5:58pm EDT here in the Northern Hemisphere/Southeastern US. I posted the definition of equinox back in September 2018 but, the term ‘Vernal’ translates tonew‘ or ‘fresh‘. A fresh start is on the way.

From Time And Date:

Earth’s axis is tilted at an angle of about 23.4° in relation to the ecliptic plane, the imaginary plane created by the Earth’s path around the Sun. On any other day of the year, either the Southern Hemisphere or the Northern Hemisphere tilts a little towards the Sun. But, on the two equinoxes, the tilt of the Earth’s axis is perpendicular to the Sun’s rays, like the illustration (below) shows. The March equinox is often used by astronomers to measure a tropical year, the mean time it takes for the Earth to complete a single orbit around the Sun. Also known as a solar year, a tropical year is approximately 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 45 seconds long.

Easter is celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon on or after March 21. Since the full moon occurs on March 21 at 01:42 UTC, that, apparently, throws Easter’s celebrations to the Sunday following the next full moon, which is April 19.

There are other celebrations. From Time And Date:

The Iranian New Year (Nowruz, No-Ruz, No-Rooz or No Ruz) occurs during the time of the March Equinox, in accordance with the Persian astronomical calendar. It has been celebrated for over 3000 years and is rooted in the traditions of Zoroastrianism. No-Ruz celebrations last for about 12 days. Preparations start well in advance and include buying new clothes for family members and thoroughly cleaning homes. Wheat or lentil representing new growth is grown in a flat dish a few days before the New Year and is called Sabzeh (green shoots).

Higan (Higan-e or Ohigan), is a week of Buddhist services in Japan during the March and September Equinox. Both equinoxes have been national holidays since the Meiji period (1868-1912). “Higan” means the “other shore” (Sanzu River) and refers to dead spirits who reach Nirvana after crossing the river of existence. It celebrates the spiritual move from the world of suffering to the world of enlightenment.

Vernal Equinox Image Two
Image Credit:

We will also be graced with a full moon, tonight. It was 100% full illumination at 9:42pm EDT. Busy day! Unfortunately, we have had a rainy day, today, so no shots of it full. The sky has been nothing but a boring shade of grey. I did get a few shots of it earlier in the week, though. They weren’t too bad.

Moon Image Three
All Photos Are My Personal Collection Unless Otherwise Stated
Peeking thru the limbs.
Saint Patrick’s Day
Moon Image Four
Brilliant blue sky.
Looks like a golf ball.
Saint Patrick’s Day
Moon Image Five
Over the Riverwalk.
Saint Patrick’s Day
Moon Image Six
Hanging out over the park bench.
Saint Patrick’s Day
Moon Image Seven
Rising in town at 7:39pm, yesterday.
Best I could do.

From Moon Giant:

March’s full moon is commonly called the Full Worm Moon. This is because of the earthworms that wriggle out of the ground as the earth begins to thaw in March. Here’s a little known fact about March’s full moon…it was called the Worm Moon only by Southern Native American tribes. In fact, there’s no way the Northern tribes would have ever called it the Worm Moon and the reason why is fascinating.

Essentially, earthworms did not exist in Northern America. It would be literally impossible for Northern tribes to see worms popping up in March. All the earthworms you see in Northern America today are invasive species brought in by colonists. These earthworms were brought over either out of a misguided intent to help fertilize the soil or, as an accident along with transported plants or the soil used for ballast in ships. Little did the colonists know that, during the last Ice Age, glaciers had spread so far across Canada and the northern parts of the United States that, all earthworms had been completely wiped out.

When the deep ice melted 12,000 years ago, the native forests in those areas grew back and adapted to the loss of earthworms. The growth of these forests became dependent on a layer of duff, which is a compost layer comprised of decomposing leaves and other rotting organic matter. If you ever visit one of these native forests, you will be asked to clean your shoes and make sure it’s free of earthworm eggs. That’s because, while it’s normally harmless everywhere else, earthworms will aggressively destroy the native forest’s duff layer by eating right through it.

This is why in Northern American tribes, such as the Shawnee tribe, the Worm Moon is called the Sap Moon, instead, as a reminder for the tribes that they can begin tapping maple syrup. In general, March’s full moon is known as a herald for the beginning of spring and new agricultural cycles. The Anglo-Saxons even used the Worm Moon as a way to predict the state of their crops. They called it the Storm Moon if it was stormy, which was a sign that their crops would fail. But, if it was dry, they called it the Rugged Moon, an indication of a bounteous harvest.

One of its other names is the Chaste Moon, symbolizing the purity of early spring. The Pueblo tribe named it the Moon When the Leaves Break Forth, while in Shoshone culture, it was known as the Warming Moon. Sometimes, it is called the Crow Moon, after the crows and other birds that appear as winter draws to a close. Other times, it’s called the Crust Moon, because of the snow that becomes crusty when it thaws in the sun and freezes in the moonlight.

In India, March’s full moon is also seen as a symbol of the arrival of spring and coincides with the festival of Holi. This is a riotous party where Indian communities all around the world engage in a huge water fight. Everyone goes out into the streets and sprays each other with colored water and powders, singing and dancing with strangers and, loved ones, alike. Playing and feasting together is a chance for you to repair relationships that have gone bad, reaffirming your existing social bonds as you move forward together into the new year.

Other moon names:
Moon When Eyes Are Sore From Bright Snow from the Dakota Sioux
Lenten Moon from the Christian settlers
Sugar Moon
Last Full Moon of Winter

It is also a Supermoon, our last for 2019.

Howl for me… ~Vic

26 thoughts on “Vernal Equinox & Worm Moon 2019

    The Purging Lutheran said:
    March 20, 2019 at 11:47 PM

    It was worth it just for the ‘Spwing has spwung!‘.
    Good job.


    BlackSheep said:
    March 21, 2019 at 9:28 AM

    The pictures never do these supermoons justice. You just gotta stand outside and experience it. Nice writeup.


      The Hinoeuma responded:
      March 21, 2019 at 3:14 PM

      That is SO true. My stupidphone will never capture what my eyes see. There are some really expensive, powerful cameras that can capture detail but, yeah…nothing like human experience. Did you see the lunar eclipse? I’d never witnessed anything like that in my entire life. My area was in the complete path (I forget the proper term). I tried taking pix…😖☹

      Thank you. Very kind…💕


        BlackSheep said:
        March 21, 2019 at 4:16 PM

        I watched the blood moon wolf eclipse, or whatever it was called. It was midnight on one of the coldest days of the year. It was interesting, but seemed really small compared to how large the moon had been that afternoon.
        I took a picture with my cellular “phone” and it was not even worth keeping.


    badfinger20 said:
    March 21, 2019 at 3:20 PM

    Never realized there were so many phases of the moon…this one and the last post you had…I am happy Spring is here…


      The Hinoeuma responded:
      March 21, 2019 at 3:44 PM

      Oh, yeah. New, first quarter, full, last quarter, waxing & waning, gibbous & crescent… Almanac’s have lunar planting schedules…still. Moon affects more than just tides. Ask ER docs or cops…people have moon fits…fight like hell.

      Liked by 1 person

        badfinger20 said:
        March 21, 2019 at 3:49 PM

        I have heard ER’s talk about it before. The gravational pull affects the tides… That I remember from school lol

        Liked by 1 person

    bereavedandbeingasingleparent said:
    March 22, 2019 at 8:19 PM

    Welcome back spring. This is so interesting. I could look at the moon for hours.


    Lwbut said:
    March 24, 2019 at 5:05 AM

    Very interesting, thanks for the information. – I would point out 1 tiny error though… Easter Sunday – it’s on the 21st this year, the 19th is Good Friday! I know this because my Mum’s birthday is on the 20th (same day as Adolf Hitler – go figure? 🙂 ). I am struck by the calculation for Easter Sunday though… they say it should be the First Sunday after the Full Moon ON or after the Vernal Equinox. Well, the Full Moon this year WAS on the Vernal Equinox (GMT), so why isn’t today Easter Sunday??
    I love the moon shots – i’m a bit of a moon photography buff also and i shot the Super Blue Blood Moon we got in Jan 2018. There are some shots on my blog you might like?


      The Hinoeuma responded:
      March 24, 2019 at 2:30 PM

      I was wondering if how I worded that would make it sound weird (my brain is wired funny, anyway, so…there’s that). I meant for that to reflect Easter Sunday showing up after the NEXT full moon…which is April 19. So, yes, Easter is April 21. My brain, my sentence structure…I SWEAR I didn’t have a stroke while writing that.

      My mom’s b-day is April Fools.

      I was scratching MY head over the calculation. I copied & pasted the wording…and the way it ‘reads’, it should be today. I kept checking my calendar on the wall like I was hallucinating or something. Ecclesiastical calendars are far beyond my knowledge or understanding.

      I, too, am a moon shutterbug. I am a Lunar Piscean, born late in the morning of an impending full moon that night. I grow fangs and howl during 100% illumination. 🐺👹😁😉😎🌚

      I will take a look…

      Liked by 1 person

        Lwbut said:
        March 25, 2019 at 3:52 AM

        I can relate to the weird wiring of the brain/non-understanding of matters Ecclesiastic, etc. 🙂
        Even if you consider the time zone in Rome (Head of Catholic Church and the Nicaean Council) i still get the full moon being on the Equinox of Mar 21 so yesterday should be Easter Sunday.


    Dayphoto said:
    March 25, 2019 at 3:45 PM

    Your photos are very well done! Happy Spring! Surely it is here, I sure hope so!


      The Hinoeuma responded:
      March 25, 2019 at 5:24 PM

      I do the best I can with a Samsung stupidphone. You are too kind!

      Happy Spring! I’m enjoying the flowers & the pair of Carolina Wrens nesting in my old wash tub. It hangs on a wooden fence & we always get a pair in there. Have watch those little critters…they will nest in the mailbox on the front porch if you don’t close the lid. 😄


      Liked by 1 person

        Dayphoto said:
        March 26, 2019 at 11:25 AM

        I wish we had Carolina Wrens they are sooooo cute. I need a different phone mine takes horrid photos.


          The Hinoeuma responded:
          March 26, 2019 at 4:36 PM

          They aren’t much bigger than Hummingbirds and are hysterical. I get tickled listening to them when they ‘fuss’. They look like, to me, marshmallow peeps (shape)! 😄❤

          Liked by 1 person

    floatinggold said:
    March 27, 2019 at 10:01 AM

    That was a neat little video. Thanks for sharing.
    You’ve got great pics there of the moon.
    The only time I saw the full moon was as I was leaving for work that Wednesday morning. It appeared when I was stopped at a red light, in traffic. So the pic isn’t all that great. It was dark, and there are red stop lights disturbing the flow of natural light. I saw a bunch of people take pictures, too. It was gorgeous.


      The Hinoeuma responded:
      March 27, 2019 at 7:49 PM

      Those Almanac videos are really cool.

      Thank you. I wish I had a real camera. My stupidphone is extremely limited in Moon clarity despite all of its settings and mega-pixels.

      Love Moon.

      Liked by 1 person

        floatinggold said:
        March 28, 2019 at 10:58 AM

        Same. When I got my phone, the camera was supposed to be the best thing since sliced bread. Not really good with moons, or suns.


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