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This article is about the month. For other uses, see May (disambiguation).
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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. 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 like all other months 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 starts and ends on the same day of the week as October of the following year; it also ends on the same day of the week as February 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. In a leap and a year immediately after that, May starts on the same day of the week as February of the previous year.

Late May typically marks the start of the summer vacation season in the United States and Canada and ends on Labor Day, first Monday of September.

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).

Mayovka, in the context of the late Russian Empire, was a picnic in the countryside or in a park in the early days of May, hence the name. Eventually, "mayovka" (specifically, "proletarian mayovka") came to mean an illegal celebration of May 1 by revolutionary public, typically presented as an innocent picnic.[1]

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.[2] 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).

May observances[edit]

Month-long observances[edit]

Movable observances[edit]

1st Week of May

  • Moatsü, celebrated by the Ao people of Nagaland, India
  • 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.[24]
  • National Forest Week (Canada)
  • National Teacher's Week (United States). Teacher's Day in the United States falls in this week.

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.
  • National Stuttering Awareness Week (United States)

3rd Week in May

  • Bike-to-Work Week.

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.[26]
  • 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.
  • Arbor Week (Prince Edward Island, Canada)

First Sunday - 2016 date, May 1.

First Tuesday - 2016 date, May 3.

First Thursday - 2016 date, May 5.

Friday preceding Mother's Day - 2016 date: May 6

First Saturday - 2016 date: May 7

Second Weekend in May 2016 date: May 7–8

Second Saturday 2016 date: May 7

Second Sunday 2016 date: May 8

Third Saturday: 2016 date: May 14

Third Sunday 2016 date: May 15

Third Monday - 2016 date: May 16.

Third Thursday - 2016 date: May 19

Third Friday - 2016 date: May 20.

Last Weekend 2015 date: May 30–31, 2016 date: May 28–29.

Last Sunday - 2015 date: May 31, 2016 date: May 29.

Last Monday - 2015 date: May 25, 2016 date: May 29

Last Thursday 2015 date: May 28, 2016 date: May 27

Saturday closest to May 30, 2015 date: May 30, 2016 date: May 28

Easter date based (Western Christianity)[edit]

Easter date based (Eastern Christianity)[edit]

Fixed Observances on non-Gregorian Calendars[edit]

2015 dates[edit]
2016 dates[edit]

Fixed Observances in May[edit]

Rosa chinensis, the flower symbol of May

See also[edit]