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CINDY DAY: Pink Moon rising

A boat whizzes by on Beaverdam Lake, Shelburne County as the supermoon rises.
A full moon rises over Beaverdam Lake, Shelburne County, N.S. - FILE

The full moon rises Sunday evening

April’s full moon is commonly known as the “full pink moon.” However, like most full moons, it comes with a few monikers: it’s also known as the “full sprouting grass moon,” the “full egg moon” and the “full fish moon.”

Not long ago, I was speaking to some Grade 5 students who were studying the weather unit. The topic of the moon came up and the “full sap moon” was mentioned. A little boy put up his hand and asked why we give the full moon a different name each month?

Centuries ago, time was not recorded by using the months on a calendar. Many cultures kept track of time by observing the seasons and the phases of the moon. The name given to the moon each month describes activities that was occurred during that time. For example, the full pink moon is one of the traditional native American names given to the full moon in April. It has nothing to do with the colour of the moon, but comes from the wild ground phlox that are one of the earliest bloomers in the central and eastern United States.

The full sprouting grass moon is obvious. The full egg moon was inspired by the birds who were starting to lay eggs after a long winter. The full fish moon is in reference to the many fish that spawn following a significant temperature change which often occurs in April.

Grandma watched the moon very closely. She believed that the period from the full moon through the last quarter of the moon was the best time for killing weeds, pruning and planting below-ground crops. I see a few busy days ahead!

By the way, here’s something Grandma failed to share with me, but someone else’s grandma did! Apparently, a full moon is considered unlucky if it occurs on a Sunday, like it does this month on April 29, but it’s lucky on Monday or “moon” day.

On this date in weather history

April 28, 1999, a powerful spring storm barreled across Atlantic Canada with wind, rain, ice pellets and snow! In less than 24 hours, 71 mm of rain had fallen at the St. John’s, N.L., Airport. A raw, east wind blew all day with gust over 90 km/h. On P.E.I., snow started just after noon and didn’t change to rain until the next morning. The wind was wild with gusts over 100km/h. On the Confederation Bridge, a a gust of 112km/h was recorded.

On a warmer note, on this date in 2009, it was 27 C in New Glasgow, N.S., and 30 C in Greenwood and Halifax!

Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network.

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