The Full Moon of March is known as the Worm Moon. It will take place on Tuesday, the 7th of March, around 07:40 EST or 12:40 UTC in 2023. It is the third full moon of the year.

The Worm Moon of 2023 marks the coming of Spring and the departure of winter, as this is the third and final full moon of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. 

March Full Moon or Worm Moon
Worm Moon is the full moon observed in March

The story behind the name Worm Moon

When the ice thaws and the soil warms up during the end of winter, earthworm casts appear and mark the return of various birds like robins that feed on them. This is why the South Americans named March Full Moon 'Worm Moon'.

The North Americans do not call it the Worm Moon because earthworms were an extinct species in the region due to the Ice Age. By the time the Ice Age ended, all the earthworms in Northern America were destroyed. Today, earthworms exist in those regions because they have been brought back into the soil by colonists or transported plants that had earthworms in their roots.  

Lenten Moon or Paschal Moon

The March Full Moon is also called the Lenten Moon if it occurs before the 21st of March (a fixed and rough approximation of Spring Equinox).

If it occurs on or after the 21st of March, it is called the Paschal Moon. The Paschal Moon is used to calculate the date of Easter (the first Sunday after the Paschal Moon). Therefore, the March Full Moon plays an essential role for Christians.

Other names for the March Full Worm Moon

  • Sap or Sugar Moon (Ojibwe) – After the flow of sugar maple sap starts
  • Sore Eye Moon (Dakota, Lakota, Assiniboine) – Refers to the blinding sunlight reflecting off the melting snow during Spring
  • Wind Strong Moon (Pueblo) - Highlighting the strong winds during this time of year
  • Plough Moon (Celts) – Referring to the preparation of fields for the planting season
  • Crow Moon (Shawnee) – When crows signal the end of winter with their caws
  • Snow Crust Moon (Chippewa) – As the snow melts and freezes again to form a crust above the snow
  • Chaste Moon (Old English) – Chaste means pure. It highlights the purity of the Spring season that comes after this full moon

Moon Phases in March 2023: Dates and Time

Full Moon or Worm Moon: It will be observed on March 7 at 07:40 EST or 12:40 UTC.

Last Quarter or Third Quarter Moon: It will be observed on March 14 at 21:08 EST or March 15 at 2:08 UTC.

New Moon: It will be observed on March 21 at 12:23 EST or 17:23 UTC.

First Quarter Moon: It will be observed on March 28 at 21:32 EST or March 29 at 2:32 UTC.

Future Full Worm Moon Dates

Year Day of the week Date and Time
2024 Monday 25 March at 3:00 EST or 8:00 UTC
2025 Friday 14 March at 2:55 EST or 7:55 UTC
2026 Tuesday 3 March at 6:38 EST or 11:38 UTC
2027 Monday 22 March at 6:44 EST or 11:44 UTC
2028 Sunday 10 March at 20:06 EST or 11 March at 1:06 UTC

The Worm Moon is followed by Pink Moon in April.