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One Full Moon-Many Connections

02nd April 2021

Astronomical events can have all sorts of interesting consequences. Last Sunday, March 28, was the Full Moon. That Full Moon is the reason Easter is Sunday April 3. In 325 CE the Council of Nicaea set the Easter rule used by Catholics and most protestant churches. Easter is the first Sunday after the first Full Moon that happens on or after The First Day of Spring with the first day of spring fixed as March 21.

This year the first Full Moon of spring was Sunday March 28. Since the rule places Easter on the first Sunday AFTER the Full Moon March 28 cannot be Easter. If the Full Moon had been one day earlier Easter would have been 7 days earlier.

Easter can be as early as March 22 if March 21 falls on a Saturday and that same day happens to be a Full Moon. This last happened in 1818 and will next happen in 2285. The latest possible Easter date is April 25 which happens when the Full Moon happens on April 18 and that day falls on a Sunday. This last happened in 1943. It will next happen in 2038.

This same Full Moon had a more immediate headlining effect. During a Full Moon the Sun and Moon are on opposite sides of the Earth causing unusually high “Spring” or “King” tides. The extra 18 inches of water made it possible to free the giant container ship Ever Given from blocking the Suez Canal and slowing world trade.

This same Full Moon also marks the middle of Sha’ban, the eighth month of the Islamic Lunar Calendar. Two weeks later Sha’ban will end with the New Moon. The Crescent Moon that follows will mark the beginning of the Month of Ramadan.