8 things to know about the Full Worm Moon

Full worm moon of March
CC BY 2.0 DWRose/Flickr

March's full moon has some stories to tell.

According to Native American tradition, in the absence of the Gregorian calendar and things like day planners, seasons were tracked by the moon. Each full moon was named for the attributes of the time in which it occurred. While the moons of some months were the recipients of poetic names like May’s Full Flower Moon and June’s Full Strawberry Moon, some tribes named March’s full moon after the earthworm. And while that may be less romantic than, say, January’s Full Wolf Moon, it’s nonetheless beautiful for what it is. Here’s everything you need to know about the moon dedicated to the humble and limbless, burrowing invertebrate.

1. For those of us in the United States, the Full Worm Moon takes place on Sunday, March 12, reaching its fullest point at 9:54 a.m. EDT.

2. What’s in a name? Being March, it’s the time of year when winter’s frozen ground starts to soften and earthworms begin to emerge. Who needs first crocuses and nascent tree buds when you have worms as your harbinger? It’s a beautiful testament to a connection with the soil and the importance of all components of an ecosystem.

3. That said, the March full moon was also known as the Full Sap Moon as it coincides with the beginning of maple tapping season.

4. In Celtic, the March full moon has been called the Moon of Winds; in Medieval England it was known as the Chaste Moon.

5. Since the moon will be rising during the evening for viewers on the East Coast, many of us will not see it at peak fullness. But not to worry, she will be 99 to 100 percent illuminated from March 11 to March 13.

6. On the other side of the country, moon-gazers in Hawaii will be able to see the fullest moment just before sunrise, at 4:54 a.m. HST.

7. This month’s full moon coincides with daylight saving time, which begins on March 12 at 2 a.m. local time; if you have a real-live clock or watch, don’t forget to move it ahead by an hour.

8. This will be the last full moon of the winter. Eight days later we welcome the vernal equinox, and come April, we can say hello to the beautiful Full Pink Moon, who receives her rosy name thanks to wild ground phlox – one of the first flowers of Spring.

Sources: Space.com, The Old Farmer's Almanac.

Tags: Nature | Space

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