Why is it called a pink moon? The name can be traced back to North American aboriginal peoples, who referred to the full moon in April as a pink moon after a type of wildflower.
This wildflower blooms early in the year, helping to signify that spring has arrived.
April’s full moon goes by a number of other names in different cultures. Some coastal tribes refer to it as the fish moon because it coincided with the shad swimming upstream.
Tonight’s full moon is the 1st full moon of northern spring and fixes the date of Easter Sunday.
This full moon is the 1st full moon of northern spring – that is, the first full moon following the March equinox. As such, it fixes the date of Easter Sunday. By ecclesiastical rules, Easter falls on the 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon in a Northern Hemisphere spring. That means the earliest possible date for Easter is March 22, and the latest possible is April 25.
Skylore assigns names for every full moon. The April full moon is called the Grass Moon, Egg Moon or Pink Moon here in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, where it’s autumn now, this full moon is the Hunter’s Moon, or full moon following the Harvest Moon (which is the full moon nearest to – not necessarily following – the equinox).
The April 10-11 full moon is special for another reason. It’s near Jupiter in the night sky. And Jupiter is special now because it’s only a few days past its April 7 opposition, when we passed between this giant planet and the sun. Jupiter was closest on April 8, that is, closest to Earth for all of 2017. So Jupiter is at its brightest and best now, and near tonight’s full moon.
Why does Jupiter appear near this full moon? Around the time we pass between an outer planet and the sun – and again that was just last week, for Jupiter – that planet appears opposite the sun in our sky. A full moon is also opposite the sun. So planets near their oppositions always appear – at some time within a month or so – near a full moon.
April’s Full Moon, the Full Pink Moon, heralds the appearance of the moss pink, or wild ground phlox—one of the first spring flowers. It is also known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and the Fish Moon.
Many tribes kept track of time by observing the seasons and lunar months, although there was much variability. The name itself usually described some activity that occurred during that time in their location.
April Full Moon names from different cultures: April Moon Names Leaf Moon (Kiowa). Yellow Moon (Pima). Flowers Moon (Pomo). Growing Moon (Celtic). Flower, Egg (Cherokee). Frog Moon (Assiniboine). (Full Janic), (Dark Janic). Big Spring Moon (Creek). Wildcat Moon (Choctaw). Budding Moon (Mohawk). Wind Breaks Moon (Hopi). Leaf Split Moon (San Juan). Big Leaves Moon (Apache). Strawberry Moon (Natchez). Ice Breaking Moon (Arapaho). Geese Return Moon (Dakota). Indian Corn Moon (Algonquin). Green Grass moon (Sioux). Geese Egg Moon (Cheyenne). Sugar Maker Moon (Abernaki). Awakening Moon (Neo Pagan). Seed Moon (Medieval English). Spring Moon (Passamaquoddy). Corn Planting Moon (Winnebago). Planterâs Moon (Colonial American). Ashes Moon (Taos Native American). Broken Snow Shoe Moon (Anishnaabe). Big Spring Moon, Gray Goose Moon (Cree). Other Names : Egg Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, Planterâs Moon, Pink Moon, Fish Moon.