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May (Listeni/m/ may) is the fifth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and one of seven months with the length of 31 days.

May is a month of autumn in the Southern Hemisphere and spring in the Northern Hemisphere (Summer in Europe). Therefore May in the Southern Hemisphere is the seasonal equivalent of November in the Northern Hemisphere and vice versa. No other month begins or ends on the same day of the week as May in any year. This month is the only month to have these two properties. However, May does share starting and ending days with various months of both previous and following years: every year, May starts and ends on the same day of the week as January of the following year.

Additionally, in years immediately before common years, May also starts and ends on the same day of the week as October of the following year. In years immediately before leap years, May starts on the same day of the week as April of the following year; it also both starts and ends on the same day of the week as July of the following year.

In a common year, May both starts and ends on the same day of the week as August of the previous year; it also ends on the same day of the week as November of the previous year. In a leap year, May both starts and ends on the same day of the week as March of the previous year; it also starts on the same day of the week as November and ends on the same day of the week as June, both of the previous year.

History and origin[edit]

The month May 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).

Events in May[edit]

Rosa chinensis, the flower symbol of May

Monthlong events in May[edit]

Weeklong events in May[edit]

1st Week of May

  • New Zealand Sign Language Week happens once every year in May, Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand organises NZSL Week with over 500 events happening in New Zealand to help promote the language as well as raise awareness about New Zealand’s Deaf community.

2nd Week of May

  • Bike Week (Bicycle Week) is a yearly international event that advocates the importance of bicycling as a means of transportation. Bike Week takes place during the second week of May or June and is typically an entire week of city-wide cycling supplemented with events.

3rd Week in May

Last Week in May

  • ALIA celebrates Library and Information week in May. Events are organised by libraries around Australia to encourage people to use their local libraries. Children's librarians hold a special event known as National Simultaneous Storytime, where public and school libraries read the same book, at 11 am EST, to children around Australia.[6]
  • International Headband Week runs from the Monday-Friday in the last week of May. People all around the world are encouraged to wear Headbands to work and other social events to promote character building and confidence in the workplace and other social environments.

May moving events[edit]

First Thursday

  • Most common day of the year for local and general elections in the United Kingdom

First or second Friday

First Saturday

Second Sunday

Second Saturday

Third Saturday

  • The Preakness Stakes is run, second jewel in the triple crown of horse racing.

Last Sunday

Last Monday

  • In the United States, Memorial Day, a public holiday, is on May 30, but observed on the last Monday in May.

May symbols[edit]

  • May's birthstone is the emerald which is emblematic of love and success.
  • The May birth flower is the Lily of the Valley and the Crataegus monogyna.[7] It is native throughout the cool temperate Northern Hemisphere in Asia, Europe, and in the southern Appalachian Mountains in the United States, but has been naturalized throughout the temperate climactic world.
  • 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.
  • The zodiac signs for the month of May are Taurus (until May 20) and Gemini (May 21 onwards).

See also[edit]