Pink Moon Rising

A Pink Moon, ruddy in color only because it is close to the horizon. Jamie Cooper/Getty Images

"I saw it written and I saw it say/Pink moon is on its way…."

Nick Drake, the late British singer/songwriter, may be the main reason people have heard of the "Pink Moon." If you have clear weather tonight, go outside and enjoy the brightness of the full moon. It's decidedly not pink, at least not to my eye, but native tribes of eastern North America called the first full moon of spring the Pink Moon.

"This name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring," says the Farmers' Almanac. "Other names for this month's celestial body include 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."

By coincidence, this full moon comes on Good Friday, and at the beginning of Passover in Judaism. The moon orbits Earth in about 29-1/2 days, so the next full moon (the "Flower Moon") will come on May 5, the one after that (the "Strawberry Moon") on June 4, and so forth.

For most of the U.S., this wasn't a very cold winter, but the Pink Moon is affirmation that it's over. If the weather is good, go out for a moment and enjoy the glow. We wish you clear skies and good holidays.