The World will be treated to a full ‘Pink Moon’ on Good Friday
We’re in for a very special stargazers treat this Good Friday. According to Farmer’s Almanac, April’s “Pink Moon” is set to illuminate the night sky on April 18 -19. This month’s full moon will rise on Thursday night and will be visible around the globe, weather permitting.
(You can click here to get a more precise time to gaze at the sky that’s tailored to your specific location. The timing of the full moon’s appearance depends on where the moon is in its orbit around the Earth; this is why the actual time of the full moon can be in daylight for certain locations.)
But don’t expect the moon to turn ‘hot pink’!
The moniker for the pink moon comes from the earliest widespread pink flowers that bloom in the spring called wild ground phlox. The moon can, however, appear pink, yellow, orange or even red depending on atmospheric conditions right as it first peers above the horizon.
Every month’s full moon has a nickname that can often be traced back hundreds of years to the Native Americans or early Colonials from Europe.
For instance, the Full Strawberry Moon, which comes later in the year, does not, in fact, resemble a strawberry. Nor is it always red. September’s Full Corn Moon doesn’t look like an ear of corn, either. And the Full Worm Moon, well, you get the picture.
Back in the day, way… way back in the day, it was common to track the changing seasons by following the lunar month rather than the solar year, which the 12 months in our modern calendar are based on.
For millennia, people across Europe, as well as Native American tribes, named the months after items that they associated with the Northern Hemisphere seasons. Many of these names are very similar or identical.
“April’s full Moon is called the Full Pink Moon, heralding the appearance of the ‘moss pink,’ or wild ground phlox—one of the first spring flowers,” the Old Farmer’s Almanac reported. Other names for April’s full moon include the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon and the Fish Moon.
The April full moon will be the fourth full moon of 2019 after millions around the world watched this year’s previous events, such as the Super Blood Wolf Moon.
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Today, we use many of these ancient month names as Full Moon names. A common explanation is that Colonial Americans adopted many of the Native American names and incorporated them into the modern calendar.
Traditional Full Moon Names
Wolf Moon – January
Snow Moon – February
Worm Moon – March
Pink Moon – April
Flower Moon – May
Strawberry Moon – June
Buck Moon – July
Sturgeon Moon – August
Harvest Moon – September or October
Full Corn Moon (Harvest) – September
Hunter’s Moon (Harvest) – October
Beaver Moon – November
Cold Moon – December
Some years have 13 Full Moons, which makes one of them a Blue Moon, as it doesn’t quite fit in with the traditional Full Moon naming system. However, this is not the only definition of a Blue Moon.
The first Full Moon in April is also known as the Paschal Moon in the Christian calendar. This is because it is used to calculate the date for Easter; the first Sunday after the Paschal Moon is Easter Sunday.
The ancient Hare Moon and Egg Moon names are often referenced a potential reasons for the emergence of the modern Easter Bunny laying Easter eggs.
So there ya go!