May~Flowers and More

The month of May has arrived and with it comes a flurry of activities, events, and celebrations. Across the country many students will graduate from both high school and college and begin a new season of their lives. Let’s learn a bit more about this fifth month of the year.

“The world’s favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May.” ~Edwin Way Teale

May is named for Maia, the goddess of growth and plants. It is a month in which many of the spring flowers begin to bloom. Although here in Texas, many of the wildflowers such and the bluebonnet, Indian paintbrush, and clover have already passed their peak, others bloom in May. The coreopsis and blue cornflowers are two that come to mind.

Here are a few more things about the month of May:

  • The May birthstone is the emerald which represents success or love.
  • The flower is the Lily of the Valley
  • American Indians called the May full moon as the Wildflower Moon due to the abundance of wildflowers in most of the states. Other names are the Full Corn Planting Moon and the Milk Moon.
  • The Kentucky Derby takes place on the first Saturday of May. Other celebrations include May Day (1st), Cinco de Mayo (5th) Mother’s Day (10th), and Memorial Day (25th)
  • Unusual celebrations include Hug your Cat Day (3rd), Lost Sock Memorial Day (9th), and Pack Rat Day (17th) (Some sources call it Rat Pack Day).
  • As always, there are days set aside for food: Beverage Day (6th) Eat What You Want Day (11th) Chocolate Chip Day and Pizza Party Day (15th) and Blueberry Cheesecake Day (26th).
  • May birthdays include actors George Clooney and Clint Eastwood. Singers Billy Joel, Bono, and Stevie Wonder. NFL star Cam Newton and former Dallas Cowboy and all time NFL rushing leader Emmitt Smith. Also, the late John Wayne and late President John F. Kennedy.
  • Several historical events occurred during the month of May. Explorers Lewis and Clark began their expedition on May 14, 1804. Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo flight across the Atlantic on May 20, 1932. The first permanent English settlement was established on May 24, 1607 in Jamestown, Virginia.
  • Four states joined the union during the month of May. South Carolina in 1788, Rhode Island in 1790, Wisconsin in 1848, and Minnesota in 1858.

Do you have any special memories of the month of May? Any family traditions? Please share in the comments.

  • Cat Day? I bet you were quite busy! (I’m looking forward to Rat Pack Day, myself. And I suppose I should pay tribute to my lost socks.) Great post. Made me smile.

    • Oh yes, always busy with the cats. I think we’re fast becoming a cat shelter. And I wonder where all those lost socks are? Gone, but not forgotten. 🙂

  • I love your monthly posts, Joan! I love May and the beauty that springs forth during this time. Our garden is beautiful already but promises so much more in the months to come.

    In Greece, we celebrate May 1st by going on picnics to the country sites; having fun, dancing, singing, and gathering wild flowers to make wreaths which we hang on the entrance door for the entire month. An ancient ritual for building faith in the powers of mother Earth and the universal spirit, for wellness, abundance, and good fortune, a reminder of the cycles of the seasons and those of life. The word “Maia” is Greek. It means “midwife” …the one that assists mothers bring life forth from the darkness of the womb–symbolic of winter and the preparation that take place underneath the ground and within.

    I always make a wreath here in Chicago too, with children, grandchildren, and my school students. This year it was just mom, hubby, and me. We sing May songs and celebrate life and beauty. I posted on my Timeline the wreath I made from our weeping cherry.

    Happy month!
    Abundant blessings, always!

    • Katina, it’s wonderful to learn about the traditions and customs of other countries. Thank you for sharing this. It’s always good to hear from you!

      • Katina Vaselopulos

        Thank you, Joan! Glad you enjoyed it.
        I love and appreciate my culture but I also love the people of the world and their customs.

        I am sorry I am not around a lot. Too big of a family, many young ones that we want to spend time with and cook for, many old ones who must take care of and support.

        All best, my friend!

        • Never apologize for not being around. I understand. You are blessed to have your family (and so many of them) near to you.

          Love and blessings!

          • Katina Vaselopulos

            <3 xxx

  • I love your monthly facts. Personally, I can’t wait for the Lost Sock day on May 9. I firmly believe there is a Land of the Lost Socks.

    May in our house means more outdoor activities, and we look forward to the good weather to get out and enjoy.

    • Michele, I’m convinced there is a thief that lives in my laundry room. And somewhere he has an extensive collection of socks.

      I also love the outdoor activities and always look forward to summer.

  • julie steck

    I had no idea May was so eventful! 🙂

    • Julie, I’ve come to learn there is a day for just about everything!

  • kathunsworth

    Joan I wish you a happy spring, for me its all about new growth and birds, lots of birds to sketch. Enjoy the warmer weather as I sit here wrapped in three layers of clothing and a beanie lol.

    • Stay warm, Kath! In just a few short months, we’ll be hovered under blankets. In fact, only a week ago we had to turn on the heat.

  • Catching up! Love this introduction to May. So many things I truly didn’t know about this fair month, although folks in the midwest likely aren’t thinking so right now. In OR, we’ve finally settled into true May–rain, gray skies and upper 50s to low 60s. We did have two 80-degree days last weekend, and everything is blooming early thanks to a warm April. Thanks for your monthly posts on the months. So interest!

    • Sherrey, I’ve learned so much while researching for these posts. It’s been a lot of fun!

      We’ve had so much rain this year (almost five inches on Sunday night alone) and numerous thunderstorms—some severe—and nearby tornadoes. So yes, it’s been hard to think of May as a fair month. At least our temperatures are warmer than where you are.

      Here’s to a sunny June!