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May is the fifth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars and is the third of seven months to have a length of 31 days.

May is a month of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. Therefore, May in the Southern Hemisphere is the seasonal equivalent of November in the Northern Hemisphere and vice versa. Late May typically marks the start of the summer vacation season in the United States (Memorial Day) and Canada (Victoria Day) that ends on Labor Day, the first Monday of September.

May (in Latin, Maius) was named for the Greek goddess Maia, who was identified with the Roman era goddess of fertility, Bona Dea, whose festival was held in May. Conversely, the Roman poet Ovid provides a second etymology, in which he says that the month of May is named for the maiores, Latin for "elders," and that the following month (June) is named for the iuniores, or "young people" (Fasti VI.88).

Mayapples blooming. Common name given due to the plant's tendency to bloom in the month of May.
Mayapples blooming. Common name given due to the plant's tendency to bloom in the month of May.
Special devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary take place in May
Special devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary take place in May

Eta Aquariids meteor shower appears in May. It is visible from about April 21 to about May 20 each year with peak activity on or around May 6. The Arietids shower from May 22 – July 2, and peaks on June 7. The Virginids also shower at various dates in May.

Ancient Roman observances

Under the calendar of ancient Rome, the festival of Bona Dea fell on May 1, Argei fell on May 14 or May 15, Agonalia fell on May 21, and Ambarvalia on May 29. Floralia was held April 27 during the Republican era, or April 28 on the Julian calendar, and lasted until May 3. Lemuria (festival) fell on 9,11, and 13 May under the Julian calendar. The College of Aesculapius and Hygia celebrated two festivals of Rosalia (festival), one on May 11 and one on May 22. Rosalia was also celebrated at Pergamon on May 24–26. A military Rosalia festival, Rosaliae signorum, also occurred on May 31. Ludi Fabarici was celebrated on May 29 – June 1. Mercury would receive a sacrifice on the Ides of May (May 15). Tubilustrium took place on May 23 as well as in March. These dates do not correspond to the modern Gregorian calendar.[citation needed]

May symbols

The Lily of the Valley
Crataegus monogyna
The "Mayflower" Epigaea repens is a North American harbinger of May, and the floral emblem of both Nova Scotia and Massachusetts. Its native range extends from Newfoundland south to Florida, west to Kentucky in the southern range, and to Northwest Territories in the north.

May observances

Month-long observances

United States

Non-Gregorian observances, 2020

(All Baha'i, Islamic, and Jewish observances begin at the sundown prior to the date listed, and end at sundown of the date in question unless otherwise noted.)

Movable observances, 2020

Movable Western Christian observances, 2020 dates

Sunday after Divine Mercy Sunday: May 5

Monday and Tuesday in the week following the third Sunday of Easter: May 6–7

Fourth Sunday after Easter: May 12

Fourth Friday after Easter: May 17

Third Sunday of May: May 19

Sunday preceding the Rogation days: May 26

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday preceding Feast of the Ascension: May 27–29

39 days after Easter: May 30

Movable Eastern Christian observances, 2020 dates

Wednesday after Pascha: May 1

Thursday after Pascha: May 2

Friday after Pascha: May 3

Saturday after Pascha: May 4

8th day after Pascha: May 5

2nd Tuesday of Pascha, or 2nd Monday of Pascha, depending on region: May 6 or May 7

2nd Sunday following Pascha: May 12

4th Sunday of Pascha: May 26

Wednesday after the Sunday of the Paralytic: May 29

Non-religious and civic observances with movable dates

Last Friday in April to the first Sunday in May: April 26 – May 5

First Thursday: May 2

First Saturday: May 4

First Sunday: May 5

First full week: May 5–11

Tuesday of First full week: May 4
Wednesday of first full week: May 8

Second week in May: May 5–11

First Tuesday: May 7

Friday preceding Second Sunday in May: May 10

Saturday closest to May 10: May 11

Second Saturday: May 8

Second Weekend: May 11–12

Second Sunday: May 9

Week of May 12: May 6-12

Third Weekend, including Friday: May 14-16

Third Friday: May 21

Third Saturday: May 15

Third Sunday: May 16

Monday on or before May 24: May 24

Third Monday: May 17

Monday on or before May 25: May 24

Last Monday preceding May 25: May 24

May 24, or the nearest weekday if May 24 falls on a weekend: May 24

Saturday closest to May 30: May 29

Last Weekend: May 29–30

Last Sunday: May 30

Last Monday: May 31

Last Wednesday: May 26

Last Thursday: May 27

Fixed observances in May

May, from the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry
May, Leandro Bassano
Rosa chinensis, the flower symbol of May
Rosa chinensis, the flower symbol of May

See also


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  3. ^ "Astrology Calendar", yourzodiacsign. Signs in UT/GMT for 1950–2030.
  4. ^ "May is Better Hearing & Speech Month". asha.org.
  5. ^ "Raise CF Awareness". cff.org. Archived from the original on 2014-04-19. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  6. ^ "What Can I Do for May Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Awareness Month?". www.lifewitheds.com. Archived from the original on 2016-04-20. Retrieved 2016-04-30.
  7. ^ "May is Garden for Wildlife Month". nwf.org.
  8. ^ "Raising awareness of Huntington's Disease".
  9. ^ "International Mediterranean Diet Month". oldwayspt.org.
  10. ^ Cactuslab. "NZ Music Month 2015 — Official Site". nzmusicmonth.co.nz.
  11. ^ "National Pet Month – promoting responsible pet ownership across the UK". nationalpetmonth.org.uk.
  12. ^ "Skin Cancer Awareness Month Reminder". skincancer.org. Archived from the original on 2015-05-11. Retrieved 2015-05-11.
  13. ^ "World Trade Month". Archived from the original on 2014-07-21. Retrieved 2014-05-28.
  14. ^ Frank Ranieri. "Miles for Hope is now Brain Tumor Alliance". milesforhope.org. Archived from the original on 2013-04-15.
  15. ^ "Hamburgers and Purifiers for All | we really do eat massive hamburgers!". Archived from the original on 2014-05-17. Retrieved 2014-05-28.
  16. ^ "Denver's Best Burgers – Celebrate National Burger Month with the Mile High City's 25 tastiest beef-and-bun combos". 5280 Magazine. 5280 Magazine. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  17. ^ "Community Action Awareness Month". nd.gov. Archived from the original on 2015-05-18.
  18. ^ "Electrical Safety Foundation International". esfi.org.
  19. ^ "National Foster Care Month 2015: Building Blocks Toward Permanent Families". childwelfare.gov.
  20. ^ "National Golf Month at Mipins". nationalgolfmonth.com.
  21. ^ "May is Hepatitis Awareness Month". cdc.gov. 2 April 2021.
  22. ^ "NATIONAL MILITARY APPRECIATION MONTH 2005". nmam.org. Archived from the original on 2008-09-14. Retrieved 2009-01-14.
  23. ^ McGuire, Holly; Keil, Kathryn (2010). Chase's 2010 Calendar of Events. McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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  25. ^ "Stroke Awareness Resource Center". Stroke.org.
  26. ^ "National Water Safety Month". nationalwatersafetymonth.org.
  27. ^ GovTrack.us: Tracking the U.S. Congress[dead link]
  28. ^ "National Small Business Week Virtual Summit". National Small Business Week Virtual Summit. Retrieved 2021-07-28.
  29. ^ US Department of Commerce, NOAA. "Social Media: Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 5-11, 2019". www.weather.gov. Retrieved 2021-07-28.
  30. ^ "New Zealand Sign Language Week". Archived from the original on 2018-05-06. Retrieved 2018-05-05.
  31. ^ "green office week". US Forest Service. Retrieved 2021-07-28.
  32. ^ "Walk Safely to School Day, 2020". Walking SA. Retrieved 2021-07-28.
  33. ^ "EMS Week". www.acep.org. Retrieved 2021-07-28.
  34. ^ "2019 Greater Victoria Bike to Work Week". Go By Bike BC. Archived from the original on 2019-05-01. Retrieved 2019-05-01.
  35. ^ U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Endangered Species Day". fws.gov. Archived from the original on 2015-05-09. Retrieved 2015-05-15.
  36. ^ "NATIONAL PIZZA PARTY DAY – Third Friday in May". National Day Calendar.
  37. ^ "Маевки". homofestivus.ru. Archived from the original on 2015-05-18. Retrieved 2015-05-15.
  38. ^ "Ceremony at "Wedding of the Rails," May 10, 1869 at Promontory Point, Utah". World Digital Library. 1869-05-10. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  39. ^ "IDAHOT Forum 2018 - Lisboa | From global to local politics: Equality everywhere, for everyone". www.cig.gov.pt. 10 February 2018. Retrieved 2019-12-14.