A Full Pink Moon for Spring

Two plant symbols of spring – a cherry tree in a bed of Phlox subulata – Yachounomori Garden in Tatebayashi, Gunma

The April full moon (tonight) is often called the Full Pink Moon. that particular moon name is taken from moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the common early flowers of the spring.

One of our most easily recognized spring wildflowers, Wild Blue Phlox produces slightly fragrant, five-petaled blue flowers which bloom profusely on one foot stems. It grows like a ground cover in woodland shade. In gardens, it is used as an underplanting for larger, summer blooming plants.

Phlox subulata (creeping phlox, moss phlox, moss pink, or mountain phlox) is native to eastern and central USA, and widely cultivated. It is an evergreen perennial forming mats or cushions of hairy, linear leaves and has small, five-petaled flowers that bloom in rose, mauve, blue, white, or pink in late spring to early summer.

There are sometimes altercations between gardeners and law enforcement because the odor given off by the plants is sometimes mistaken for that of marijuana!

Continuing with signs of spring from nature, other names for this moon are the Full Sprouting Grass Moon and Seed Moon.

The Egg Moon – the full moon before Easter – is another name associated with the first moon after March 21. With the longer days, hens are laying more eggs. At least on the old-fashioned family farm (not on factory farms that artificially alter the days and nights), hens lay fewer eggs during the winter when days are short.

Many bird species also lay their eggs in the early spring, so that the young have the longest possible time to prepare for winter and migrations.

Eggs have long been a symbol of spring, regeneration, rebirth.

The ancient Persians painted eggs for Nowrooz, their New Year celebration, which falls on the Spring equinox. Sculptures on the walls of Persepolis show people carrying eggs for Nowrooz to the king.

At the Jewish Passover Seder, a hard-boiled egg dipped in salt water symbolizes the Passover sacrifice offered at the Temple in Jerusalem.

The pre-Christian Saxons had a spring goddess called Eostre, whose feast was held on the Vernal Equinox, around 21 March. Her animal was the spring hare (rabbit), so some believe that Eostre’s association with eggs and hares, combined with the rebirth of the land in spring was adapted for the Christian Easter.

Native American tribes along the coast called it the Full Fish Moon because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.

American Shad  Alosa sapidissima
American Shad        Alosa sapidissima

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A lifelong educator on and off the Internet. Random by design and predictably irrational. It's turtles all the way down. Dolce far niente.

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