April brings a Full Pink Moon. It is also the first of two Supermoons this year. A Supermoon is a Full Moon that will appear to be slightly larger than usual. The second Supermoon will occur next month.
This name is not because the Moon will be pink in colour. It comes from the pink moss, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the Spring in North America. Other names for this month’s Full Moon, all of which indicate the season, include:
- Full Sprouting Grass Moon
- Egg Moon
- Full Fish Moon, among coastal tribes because this was the time that the fish swam upstream to spawn.
At the same time, April is a time when rivers and streams begin to fully thaw. Accordingly, April’s Full moon was:
- Full Melting Moon, by the Shoshone tribe.
- Moon Where Ice Breaks in the River, by the Arapaho tribe.
- Sugar Maker Moon, by the Abenaki tribes
- Sugarbush Moon, by the Ojibwe tribe. The Ojibwe tribe would journey north to their spring camps to tap maple syrup and engage in spear fishing. Maple syrup was integral to Ojibwe culture: not only was it a crucial method of seasoning all their foods (they did not have access to salt at that time), but it also symbolized harmony within the community and with the forces of nature around them.
In other religions:
Usually for Christians it is the Paschal Moon, and celebrate the first Sunday after April’s full moon as Easter Sunday. It’s possible that the reason why the Easter Bunny brings eggs is because April’s full moon is also known as the Egg Moon, given that animals such as geese begin mating and laying eggs in Spring. This year, the Paschal Full Moon fell on 28th March.
In Islamic communities around the world, April’s full moon is celebrated as Bara’at Night, also known as the Night of Innocence. Muslims offer up prayers, asking their God to absolve dead ancestors of their sins. They also prepare sweet desserts such as halva or zarda and give it out to children, the needy, and other members of their community.