Full Moon in April 2021 – Pink Moon or Hunter’s Moon

Whether the full moon in April 2021 is a Pink Moon or Hunter’s moon is not rocket science to solve. I mean, it’s just simple physics. The fourth full moon of 2021 in the northern hemisphere is the Pink Moon.

Not to mention, in the earth’s northern areas, we also call it the Grass Moon, Planter’s Moon, Egg Moon, Seed Moon, Awakening Moon, etc.

On the contrary, for the people living in the southern hemisphere: let’s say for Australian or South African people, they call the full moon in the month of April the Hunter’s Moon.

The April full moon will occur on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, at 03:32 at Universal Time Coordinated (UTC). More importantly, it will also be the first of two supermoons of the year.

Yeah, yeah, we have two spectacular supermoons in 2021. The second one will appear on 26 May. Just to mention, whether you are living above or below the equator, it will be a rare awe-inspiring Supermoon for all of us.

Wanna know why April full moon will be the supermoon, not the traditional full moon? Equally important, why different full moon names in the different hemispheres? I would recommend you to keep reading! Let’s dive right in!!!

 

April Full Moon is Supermoon, but Why?

A supermoon occurs when the moon is near to the Earth’s Perigee. Perigee is nothing but the closest point to Earth in the Moon’s monthly orbit. Confused??? Okay, let me try in layman.

According to Kepler’s Law, Moon rotates around the Earth in an elliptical orbit. Therefore, as a result, there are two points in the moon’s monthly orbit. First, when the moon is farthest from the Earth i.e Apogee. Second, when the moon is closest to the earth i.e Perigee.

earth-moon-system-apogee-perigee
In the above diagram, position 3 is of Earth in the earth-moon system whereas position 1 is nothing but the Apogee. And, position 2 is Perigee that is nothing but the closest distance of the moon from the earth. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

So, when the moon is closest to the earth i.e at Perigee, the moon appears slightly bigger and brighter than the average moon. Hence, a traditional and average full moon becomes an awe-inspiring supermoon.

Just to mention, Supermoons are approximately 7% bigger and 15% brighter than a traditional moon. So, coming back to the question of the sub-heading i.e April full moon is a supermoon, but why?

According to the available data, on April 27, 2021, the distance between the earth and the moon will be around 357,615 km which is considered to be well within the scientific definition of the Perigee of the earth-moon system.

Just to mention, according to TimeandDate.com, a full moon can be a supermoon, only and only if, the distance between earth and moon is within 360,000 km.

 

Why Different Full Moon Names in Different Hemisphere?

Well, without wasting any more time, let me give you the exact reason behind it. Just because there is an approx 6 months of seasonal difference, the people living above and below the equator use different full moon names.

summer-and-winter-in-northern-and-southern-hemisphere
When there is summer in the northern hemisphere, there is winter in the southern hemisphere. Pic credit: Wikimedia Commons

Obviously, now you would be thinking that what could be the reason behind the seasonal difference between the two hemispheres?

Highly recommended: Equinox vs Solstice – What’s the Difference?

Just because the earth has an axial tilt of 23.4 degrees, there is a seasonal mismatch between the southern and the northern hemisphere. See the above image for proper understanding.

However, If you wanna know more about the earth’s tilt and how it affects the seasons on the earth, you can check this article. I can bet you will love this piece of article.

 

Different Full Moon Names for Northern Hemisphere

For millennia, ancient humans have used different seasons as a guide to track the different full moon phases. Or, you can say for millennia, humans have used the full moon phases to track the changing season. Just to clarify, seasons are not the only possible way to provide different full moon names.

I mean the names given to the various full moon phases are based upon a couple of different sources. In other words, different people have given different full moon names depending upon their native place or their cultural lifestyle.

In fact, even mythological characters had played their role in the naming of the full moon phases. Out of all, the most famous, and, of course, widely acknowledged full moon names came from the tribes of native American culture.

Check out: Full Moon Calendar 2021 (Dates & Names – Northern Hemisphere)

As per the legends, in order to keep track of changing seasons, the Algonquin tribal people used to follow the lunar calendar rather than following the solar calendar.

These full moon names were adopted by Colonial Americans and European settlers. Later with time, these names were integrated with the modern (Georgian calendar) calendar.

Full Moon in April 2021 – Pink Moon in Northern Hemisphere

In the northern hemisphere or the so-called western world, the full moon in April is known as the Full Pink Moon or Pink Moon. WHY? Because it coincides with springtime blooms in the northern hemisphere. Just to mention, the word Pink Moon has nothing to do with the color of the moon.

full-moon-in-april-2021
Image Credit: MoonGiant

Additionally, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, April’s full Moon often corresponded with the early springtime blooms of a certain wildflower native to eastern North America: Phlox subulata—commonly called creeping phlox or moss phlox—which also went by the name “moss pink.”

Other Cultural Full Moon Names for April 2021 in Northern Hemisphere

Well, if you go somewhere away from your native place, you will see that local indigenous people have their own indigenous full moon names. For example:

  • In Indian Culture, the full moon in April is known as Chaitra Purnima. Not to mention, the full moon in Hindi is known as Purnima.
  • English Medival people call it a Seed moon.
  • Chinese people call the full moon in April a Peony Moon.
  • Dakotah people call it the Moon When Geese Return in Scattered Formation.
  • Colonial American People call it the Planter’s Moon.
  • Choctaw tribe people call it the Wildcat Moon, etc.

 

Different Full Moon Names for Southern Hemisphere

You would be baffled to know that the full moon names used in the southern hemisphere are the same as the northern hemisphere, just the seasonal difference. Wanna know why???

Well, because the (most of) people living in the southern hemisphere (let’s say Australia, South Africa, or South America) are none other than the European settlers.

Check Out: Full Moon Calendar 2021 (Dates & Names – Southern Hemisphere)

In other words, you can say that European settlers, at first, integrated the native American full moon names into their modern Georgian calendar. And, later, many of these full moon names went with them to new places around the world.

Full Moon in April: Harvest Moon in Southern Hemisphere

In the southern hemisphere, the full moon in April is known as the Full Hunter’s Moon or Hunter’s Moon. WHY? Because it is generally the time to prepare for the upcoming winter season.

full-moon-in-april-southern-hemisphere-hunters-moon
Image Credit: SheKnows

In other words, in the southern hemisphere, this is the month when the game is fattened. And for that, tribal people start hunting and preserving meat for the winter season. Hence, known as the hunter’s moon.

Other Cultural Full Moon Names for April 2021 in Southern Hemisphere

Well, if you go somewhere away from your native place, you will see that local indigenous people have their own indigenous full moon names. Sadly, that is not the case with the people living in the southern hemisphere.

Not to mention, for several days, I have been trying to get some detail regarding the full moon naming criteria for the Earth’s southern areas. But, I did not find any single piece of work related to that.

However, I did find one resource where it has been mentioned that the native people of the southern hemisphere (Māori People of New Zealand) didn’t assign a name to only the Full Moon phase of each month. Every night of the Moon had a name.

Therefore, as a result of these elaborated naming conditions, many in the Southern Hemisphere rely on the European-inspired Full Moon Names.

 

When is the Next Full Moon in April 2021?

The next full moon in the northern hemisphere will occur on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, at 03:32 at Universal Time Coordinated (UTC). It will be the full pink moon. Okay, for the northerners, it will be Pink Moon. But, for the southerner, it will be a Hunter’s Moon.

Not to mention, on this day, the moon will be in Scorpio. Just to mention, whether you are living above or below the equator, it will be a rare awe-inspiring Supermoon for all of us.

At last, I wish you good luck with this epic moon gazing. And, do let me know about your amazing experience in the comment section.

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I am a mechanical engineer by profession. Just because of my love for fundamental physics, I switched my carrier, and therefore I just completed my postgraduate degree in physics. Right now I am a loner (as like ever) and a Physics blogger too. My sole future goal is to do a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, especially in the field of cosmology. Because in my view, every part of physics comes within the range of cosmology. And I love traveling, especially the Sole one.

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