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The Fifth Month of the Year

The month of May is said to have been named after the Maia, the Greek goddess of spring and growth. It is the fifth month of the year on the Gregorian and Julian calendars and has a total of 31 days. May is also associated with Dona Dea, the Roman goddess of fertility.

In the Northern Hemisphere, it is one of the Spring months that is known to usher in hot temperatures as the weather inches it's way towards summer. It is the time of year that brings an increase of blossoming trees and flowers, the birth of baby birds and animals, and the planting of gardens and crops.

In the Southern Hemisphere, May is totally opposite as it is an Autumn month that signals the approach of Winter.

May holidays include:

  • May Day: May 1st is a celebration of Spring. It originated in early Roman cultures with celebrations characterized by young ladies dancing around a maypole.
  • Cinco de Mayo: As spoken in the Spanish language, Cinco de Mayo is literally the "fifth of May" and is celebrated on May 5th as Mexico's Independence Day.
  • VE Day: May 8th celebrates the allied victory in Europe during World War II.
  • Mother's Day: Proclaimed a national holiday by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914, it is celebrated the second Sunday in May.
  • Pentecost Day: Commemorates the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the apostles 50 days after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  • Memorial Day: Proclaimed a federal holiday in 1971, it is observed on the last Monday in May and is dedicated to the memory of soldiers who dedicated their lives in service to their country.

The birthstone for May is the Emerald. As the present day birthstone for the month of May, the emerald signifies eternal joy, faithfulness, and love.

The flower for May is the Lily of the Valley. It is one of the most beautiful members of the lily family with two large oblong leaves and small, bell-shaped flowers. The Lily of the Valley has a sweet fragrance and is one of the most popular flowers used in wedding ceremonies.

Interesting facts about May: None of the other months of the year begins or ends on the same day of the week as May in any year.

The 12 months of the year:

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