Last night, I sat outside with my daughter’s second grade class listening to her teacher tell a story for their regular full moon party. As I have heard these stories, I understood that for certain months it is traditional to assign special names to each full moon of the year. The ‘rules’ that determine the name for a given month’s full moon have changed over time. An old method of assigning names is based upon seasons and quarters of the year. The Egg Moon (the full moon before Easter) would be the first moon after March 21, and the Lenten Moon would be the last moon on or before March 21.
The teacher, trying to make the evening interactive, asked various questions, which tested the understanding of her class. For instance, could they appreciate that the full moon glistening on a snow-covered landscape made a night seem brighter than when the snow was not on the ground. She asked why this month’s moon was called the Lenten Moon. A child, not too far from my heart, answered “It’s because it is during Lent. But it could be to do with lentils.” My child!
Our household is not into the sack cloth and ashes, but I wondered if her mind was associating Lent with things she would rather not be doing. I know she likes lentils and beans, but in the right kind of dishes, such as chilli. I think she was just trying her hand at off-beat humour. Someone mentioned to me that Lent is about lengthening, because the days are getting longer–and “sometimes Lent feels so looooong when we have given up candy and are eating all those lentils!”