Tonight we head into the first full moon in April. Some Native North American peoples called this full moon the “Pink Moon’ – not because the moon appears pink, but because the moon at this time of year illuminates the first spring wild meadow flowers – Wild Ground Phlox. These brightly coloured wildflowers bloom at this time of year, and in the moonlight the meadows would look like fields of clouds of pink.
Other ancient native names for the Pink Moon include the Hare Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, and Fish Moon. The Anglo-Saxon name is Egg Moon.
The ‘Pink Moon’ is also known as the ‘Paschal Moon’ in the Christian ecclesiastical calendar – used to calculate the date for Easter, being that the first Sunday after the Paschal Moon is Easter Sunday. (Following the phases of the moon is a major factor in the floating dates for Easter – which is not the case for the fixed date celebration on 25 December of Christmas.) The Old Farmer’s Almanac
So there you have it! Get to your windows tonight to soak in the glory of the Pink Moon!
According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, we’re presently in a series of Super Moons – the first was at start of March, and the last of the trio will be early May (7 May). Tonight the Moon will be closer to Earth to the others in the series, making it set to be the biggest and brightest full moon of 2020. But we have to treat their information with a grain or two of salt.
<<The origins of the Old Farmer’s Almanac list are difficult to trace; moreover, a single list poorly reflects the richness, subtleties, and regional variation of native cultures. But these names have been embraced and are still widely used, which speaks to the power and usefulness of the lunar tradition, both as a cultural vehicle and timekeeping device.
In reality, most Native American tribes have their own set of full Moon names, and those names reflect each tribe’s customs and regional climate and ecology. Nevertheless, some common themes are easy to spot: winter weather, crop availability, and fishing and hunting cues find expression in Moon names. In native cultures, those names were accompanied by legends and oral traditions that transmitted knowledge and cultural customs. >>
Quoted from Sky And Telescope (2020), ‘Native American Full Moon Names’. [Online]. <Available at: https://skyandtelescope.org/astronomy-resources/native-american-full-moon-names/> Accessed 7 April 2020.
Hhhmmn… thinking of moons makes me think of our local allotment garden-witch, who does her soil toiling by moonlight… Wonder what she’s up to tonight! (Folklore has it that the period from the full moon through the last quarter is the best time for killing weeds, thinning, pruning, mowing, cutting timber and planting below-ground crops such as beets and potatoes. But I bet it’s not that that’s going on ce soir in her little patch.)