Full Moon in March 2021: Worm Moon or Harvest Moon?

Whether the full moon in March 2021 is a Worm Moon or a Harvest moon is not rocket science to solve. I mean, it’s just simple physics. The third full moon of 2021 in the northern hemisphere is called the Worm Moon.

The March full moon that we know as the worm moon will occur on Sunday, March 28, 2021, at 18:48 at Universal Time Coordinated (UTC). Not to mention, in the earth’s northern areas, the full moon in this month is also known as the Crow Moon, Chaste Moon, Crust Moon, Sap Moon, Windy Moon, Fish Moon, etc.

On the contrary, for the people living in the southern hemisphere: let’s say for Australian or South African people, they call the full moon in the month of March the Harvest Moon.

Wanna know why different full moon names in the different hemispheres and many more interesting facts about the full moon in March 2021? I would recommend you to keep reading! Let’s dive right in!!!

 

Why Different Full Moon Names in Different Hemisphere?

Well, without wasting any more time, let me give you the exact reason behind it. Just because there is an approx 6 months of seasonal difference, the people living above and below the equator use different full moon names.

summer-and-winter-solstice-in-northern-and-southern-hemisphere
When there is the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, there is the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere. Pic credit: Wikimedia Commons

Obviously, now you would be thinking that what could be the reason behind the seasonal difference between the two hemispheres?

Highly recommended: Equinox vs Solstice – What’s the Difference?

Just because the earth has an axial tilt of 23.4 degrees, there is a seasonal mismatch between the southern and the northern hemisphere. See the above image for proper understanding.

However, If you wanna know more about the earth’s tilt and how it affects the seasons on the earth, you can check this article. I can bet you will love this piece of article.

 

Different Full Moon Names for Northern Hemisphere

For millennia, ancient humans have used different seasons as a guide to track the different full moon phases. Or, you can say for millennia, humans have used the full moon phases to track the changing season. Just to clarify, seasons are not the only possible way to provide different full moon names.

I mean the names given to the various full moon phases are based upon a couple of different sources. In other words, different people have given different full moon names depending upon their native place or their cultural lifestyle.

In fact, even mythological characters had played their role in the naming of the full moon phases. Out of all, the most famous, and, of course, widely acknowledged full moon names came from the tribes of native American culture.

Check out: Full Moon Calendar 2021 (Dates & Names – Northern Hemisphere)

As per the legends, in order to keep track of changing seasons, the Algonquin tribal people used to follow the lunar calendar rather than following the solar calendar.

These full moon names were adopted by Colonial Americans and European settlers. Later with time, these names were integrated with the modern (Georgian calendar) calendar.

 

Full Moon in March: Worm Moon in Northern Hemisphere

In the northern hemisphere or the so-called western world, the full moon in March is known as the Full Worm Moon or Worm Moon. WHY? Because this full moon marks the end of the winter season. Or, one could simply say that the cold weather starts to clear slightly.

march-full-moon-worm-moon-in-northern-hemisphere
Image Credit: Old Farmer’s Almanac

Additionally, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, March’s full Moon goes by the name Worm Moon, which was originally thought to refer to the earthworms that appear as the soil warms in spring. This invites robins and other birds to feed—a true sign of spring!

Just to mention, this month’s full moon will also be the first full moon after the occurrence of March Equinox in the northern hemisphere. The March Equinox i.e the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere will occur on Saturday, 20 March 2021.

Other Cultural Full Moon Names for March 2021 in Northern Hemisphere

Well, if you go somewhere away from your native place, you will see that local indigenous people have their own indigenous full moon names. For example:

  • In Indian Culture, the full moon in March is known as Phalguna Purnima. Not to mention, the full moon in Hindi is known as Purnima.
  • English Medival people call it a Chaste moon.
  • Chinese people call the full moon in March a Sleepy Moon.
  • Dakotah people call it the Moon When Eyes Are Sore From Bright Snow.
  • Cherokee tribe people call it the Windy Moon.
  • Colonial American People call it the Fish Moon.
  • Choctaw tribe people call it the Big Famine Moon, etc.

 

Different Full Moon Names for Southern Hemisphere

You would be baffled to know that the full moon names used in the southern hemisphere are the same as the northern hemisphere, just the seasonal difference. Wanna know why???

Well, because the (most of) people living in the southern hemisphere (let’s say Australia, South Africa, or South America) are none other than the European settlers.

Check Out: Full Moon Calendar 2021 (Dates & Names – Southern Hemisphere)

In other words, you can say that European settlers, at first, integrated the native American full moon names into their modern Georgian calendar. And, later, many of these full moon names went with them to new places around the world.

 

Full Moon in March: Harvest Moon in Southern Hemisphere

In the southern hemisphere, the full moon in March is known as the Full Harvest Moon or Harvest Moon. WHY? Because this is the time of the year when harvesting takes place in the southern hemisphere.

march-full-moon-harvest-moon-in-southern-hemisphere
A Portray of Autumn Moon just after the arrival of fall. Image Credit: E. Irving Couse

Not to mention, the full moon in this month will also be the first full moon after the occurrence of March Equinox in the southern hemisphere.

The March Equinox i.e the first day of autumn in the southern hemisphere will occur on Saturday, 20 March 2021.

Other Cultural Full Moon Names for March 2021 in Southern Hemisphere

Well, if you go somewhere away from your native place, you will see that local indigenous people have their own indigenous full moon names. Sadly, that is not the case with the people living in the southern hemisphere.

Not to mention, for several days, I have been trying to get some detail regarding the full moon naming criteria for the Earth’s southern areas. But, I did not find any single piece of work related to that.

However, I did find one resource where it has been mentioned that the native people of the southern hemisphere (Māori People of New Zealand) didn’t assign a name to only the Full Moon phase of each month. Every night of the Moon had a name.

Therefore, as a result of these elaborated naming conditions, many in the Southern Hemisphere rely on the European-inspired Full Moon Names.

 

When is the Next Full Moon in March 2021?

The next full moon in the northern hemisphere will occur on Sunday, March 28, 2021, at 18:48 at Universal Time Coordinated (UTC). It will be known as the full worm moon. Okay, for the northerners, it will be Worm Moon. But, for the southerner, it will be a Harvest Moon.

Therefore, for southerners, the next full moon in March will occur on Monday, March 29, 2021, at 4:48 at Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).

Not to mention, on this day, the moon will be in Libra. At last, I wish you good luck with this epic moon gazing. And, do let me know about your amazing experience in the comment section.

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I am a mechanical engineer by profession. Just because of my love for fundamental physics, I switched my carrier, and therefore I just completed my postgraduate degree in physics. Right now I am a loner (as like ever) and a Physics blogger too. My sole future goal is to do a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, especially in the field of cosmology. Because in my view, every part of physics comes within the range of cosmology. And I love traveling, especially the Sole one.

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