What Does The Pink Moon Mean?

by Kiersten Hickman
Beautiful pink and purple full moon rise at sunset
wenbin/Moment/Getty Images

Get ready to stay up late on Monday, because you aren’t going to want to miss the pink moon! It will be in full view on the East Coast on Apr. 11, starting at 2:08 a.m, and will continue to be visible until Apr. 12. Considering this is not a common phenomenon, I’m sure you are wondering — what does the pink moon mean?

In short, the pink moon is just another full moon during the year. The title “pink moon” is credited to Native American tribes — in fact, almost every name for a full moon has Native American roots. Full moons occur every 29.5 days, and the April moon is known as the "pink moon."

Native Americans didn’t have recorded calendars to separate time, days, and seasons. The different full moons were their way of tracking the seasons ahead. Like with the pink moon, each moon name is based on an event or action that relates to the season that is approaching. Nevertheless, since there is more than one Native American tribe, the way that these moons were tracked and the approach of different times and seasons were different for everyone.

Interestingly enough, Colonial Americans adopted some of these moon names to track seasons, which is why some are still tracked in the Farmer’s Almanac.

Now, I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but turns out the pink moon isn’t actually pink. The name has nothing to do with the moon’s color, but actually has to do with flowers. When the Native Americans named this moon, the “pink” was from the wild ground phlox that rapidly bloomed in the springtime. So don’t get fooled by those pink moon photos you see on social media... it'll look like a normal full moon.

The fact that the moon isn’t actually pink may be your ticket back to bed, but I promise you’ll want to stay up anyway. Why? Because the pink moon (although the smallest moon) will be very close to Jupiter this year. So if it’s a starry clear night, you’ll get a view of the pink moon as well as the biggest planet in the solar system.

Of course, the pink moon has a significant spiritual meaning as well. Since the pink moon is named after the blooming flowers of moss pink, it represents focusing on new and exciting things that could bloom up in your life this season. It pushes you to take an active role — focusing on that call to action and how that affects your current life circumstances.