The Full Snow Moon Dances with Bright Regulus
The second Full Moon of 2021 will adorn the sky very soon. What date is the Full Moon in February 2021? What is the February Moon called? Find out the answers to these questions in today’s article!
When is the Full Moon in February?
To the eye, the Moon can look full for a few nights in a row; however, astronomically speaking, it reaches its full phase at a particular moment — when our natural satellite is 180 degrees opposite the Sun in ecliptic longitude. Thus the Moon will appear full on both nights on February 26 and 27, 2021, but it will officially turn full on February 27, at 03:17 a.m. EST (8:17 GMT), shining among the stars of the constellation Leo.
The February Full Moon rises around sunset, reaches its highest point in the sky around midnight, and sets around sunrise. On February 26, after nightfall, you can see a brilliant star shining in the vicinity of the lunar disk — that’s Regulus, the Lion's Heart. The brightest star of the constellation Leo, Regulus, is located almost squarely on the ecliptic, marking the path of the Sun, the Moon, and the planets across the sky. Therefore this blue-white first-magnitude star can be seen from anywhere in the world.
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What is a Full Snow Moon?
Names for the Full Moons come from Native American, Colonial American, and other North American traditions. They reflect the changing seasons and nature, the peculiarities of a particular time of year, or seasonal activities. Let’s find out Full Snow Moon’s meaning.
The February Full Moon is traditionally called the Snow Moon as the weather tends to be coldest and snowiest in mid-northern latitudes during this month. Some North American tribes called it the Hunger Moon because the food sources were scarce due to challenging hunting conditions of the winter season. Another name for the February Full Moon is Bear Moon, which is associated with the time when bear cubs are born.
The Lantern Festival in China
In our recent article, we’ve already told you about Chinese New Year, which coincides with the New Moon in China — this year, it occurred on February 12. Traditionally, the celebration continues for the first 15 days of the new month; it culminates on the 15th day when the Lantern Festival takes place.
The Lantern Festival is held on the first Full Moon night in the Chinese calendar. It marks the end of winter’s coldest period and the return of spring. It also promotes peace and reconciliation and symbolizes family reunion. In 2021, the Chinese Lantern Festival falls on February 26.
Wishing you clear skies and happy observations!