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  • Writer's pictureLolly Spence

2021.03.29 Worm Moon, March 2021

Updated: Jul 29, 2021

Hello everyone. I have been outside looking for the full moon - but it’s lashing rain so I will look again tomorrow or hope that one of my international friends can see it and send me a photo.

March’s Full Moon is a very important one: the first of the spring season, coinciding this year with the changing of the clocks. It represents brighter, happier days to come, a move from darkness into light, a putting-away of the old and a welcoming of the new.

Some websites are claiming that it could be considered a “supermoon” due to its proximity to Earth - but I think next month’s will be super-er.

This moon is known as the Worm Moon because earthworms begin to pop out of the warmer soil; and you can start to see their worm trails (or casts) on the newly-thawed ground. I’ve spotted quite a few worms on the wet roads this week, and I’m fairly certain that the robins have spotted them too! The 18th century explorer, Captain Jonathan Carver, wrote that the name ‘Worm Moon’ refers to the emergence of beetle larvae from the thawing bark of trees.

As with all the other months, the Worm Moon was given different names by various Native American tribes, and these include:

  • Crow Moon (due to the cawing of nest-building crows),

  • Crust Moon (after the crust of frost we still see in the mornings),

  • Sap or Sugar Moon (as some trees start to ooze again),

  • Sore Eyes Moon (apparently because of blinding rays of sunlight reflecting off melting snow); and the more self-explanatory

  • Wind Strong Moon or Moose Hunter Moon.

This next bit is fascinating but complicated: I will try and explain how the first full moon of March is key to determining the date of Easter.

It’s all to do with the Vernal (or Spring) Equinox which occurs when the sun crosses the Equator line, heading north. This happened last Saturday, 20th March, but we were all too busy watching three rugby matches to even notice, lol. Spring officially began - and England came 5th…….. hahahahahaha! (Sorry, English friends....)

Anyway, when March’s full moon occurs before the Spring equinox, it is known as the Lenten Moon (the last full moon of winter). But this year, it has occured after the Equinox, so it is called the Paschal Full Moon (the first full moon of spring).

In the Christian calendar, Easter is traditionally celebrated on the first Sunday after the Paschal full moon which is why Easter will be next Sunday. Does that make sense? It’s definitely complex.

Next year, the March full moon is on 17th March (St Paddy's Day, yippee!) - so it will be a Lenten moon. That means we need to wait until the Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon (16th April), so Easter next year will be later on Sunday 17th April.

Anyway, I am thrilled that we are into Spring, that Easter is next weekend, that the clocks have changed, that my mum and dad have had both their vaccinations, and that when I get up tomorrow morning, it will be lovely and bright.

Happy New Moon everyone, Happy Spring.
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