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Full Pink Moon arrives on Good Friday morning

April’s Pink Full Moon, despite its name, won’t be turning pink. The full moon, arriving on the 19th, is actually named for pink phlox. It arrives on Good Friday at 6:12 a.m., local time.

The moon can appear to be white, yellow or orange, depending on atmospheric conditions. In 2018 there was even a blood red moon during a total lunar eclipse. There are also metaphoric blue moons and blacks moons; these names, along with the pink moon, have nothing to do with the physical appearance on a color spectrum.

The Farmers’ Almanac explains the origin of the Full Pink Moon’s name. While April is known for its showers and ever-warming temperatures, it is also known as a month when spring flowers begin to show up. Herb moss pink phlox, or “wild ground” phlox, is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring.

This moon has also been called the full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes, the full Fish Moon because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.

Full Moon names date back to Native Americans of North America. Tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full Moon. Full Moon names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred. There was some variation in the full Moon names, but in general, the same ones were consistent among regional tribes. European settlers followed that custom and created some of their own names.

Watch the Farmers’ Almanac’s short video on the subject: