Worm Moon by any other name still means Spring

March full moon designates Spring (J Jacobs photo)
March full moon designates Spring (J Jacobs photo)

Spring is in the air so earthworms are making their way through formerly frozen ground. Thus the March full moon is called the Worm Moon, right?

Appearing bright above the horizon on March 18 and having reached full illumination at 3:20 a.m. EDT, that day, it is the last of the winter season’s full moons.

Don’t worry if you missed snapping a photo. The moon will seem full for three days. However, if putting the photo on social media. you might want to know there is a backstory to the “worm” name.

But what may be the worm’s story behind the name?

The Old Farmer’s Almanac says the earthworm idea sounds good but that when Captain Jonathan Carver was visiting Native American tribes in the 1760s, he learned from them that Worm Moon actually referred to the beetle larvae type “worm” that emerged from winter homes such as tree bark during the spring thaw.

Worm isn’t the only name. References also list other creatures such as eagle and crow plus natural phenomenon such as sap and sugar.

Timing is also important. When the Spring or Vernal Equinox falls determines if  the March full moon is called the Lenten Moon which comes before the equinox or the Paschal Moon if after it.

In 2022, the Spring Equinox is March 20. Time and Date references the Astronomical beginning of Spring and other popular names.

If you follow meteorlogical seasons, you know Spring started March 1 and goes to May 31.

Author: Jodie

Longtime Chicago Tribune contributor for news and features. Travel writer for What's Happening, Lakeland Boating and A&E for CBS

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