May is named after the Roman Goddess of fertility, Maia who oversaw the growth of plants. May is the third of seven months to have the length of 31 days. May Day has pagan origins and was observed by ancient nations as a time to welcome the new season and thank nature’s gods.
May’s birthstone is the emerald which is emblematic of love and success. Lily of the Valley is May’s flower, sweetly fragrant with bell shaped blossoms. The Lily of the Valley is the symbol of purity, humility, and happiness. It is employed in traditional herbal medicine and has a variety of health benefits, including the capacity to promote circulation and cure headaches. Lily of the Valley is a favorite for wedding bouquets.
May’s full moon makes its appearance on May 5, aptly named “Flower Moon” as the month of May has an abundance of flowers in bloom. This moon marks the peak of spring in North America and acts as a transition to summer’s sunny days and warm nights. The full moon is a time to be receptive, to take the light and awareness of spirit in your emotional and physical body.
May 1 is Lei Day in Hawaii, a celebration of the Aloha spirit and Hawaiian culture. It is an all day event which includes the giving and receiving of leis. Every school celebrates Lei Day, with each class performing a hula for the families. The schools put on a Lei Day play that involves a king and queen from each of the Hawaiian islands. Each island has its own symbol that is composed of a color and a flower.
The children spend weeks preparing the costumes of the members of the royal court. Lei Day was a great memory of my family’s time on Oahu, my two oldest children participated all four years that we lived there. The colorful muu muu’s, the sweet aroma of the leis, the Hawaiian music, and the gentle trade winds always made for the perfect day. The “pot luck” dinner after was always a delicious multi cultural experience, the lumpia, “Huli huli chicken, manapua, Lomi Lomi salmon, and macadamia nut pie were favorites.
Star Wars Day is an informal commemorative day observed annually on May 4. The celebration originated from the pun “May the Fourth be with you”, a variant of the popular catchphrase, “May the Force be with you”. Star Wars fans choose May 4 as their day to hold themed parties or community events and gatherings, a time to watch the films.
Taurus and Gemini are the May zodiac signs. People born in May are said to be both optimistic and lucky. They are also passionate, smart, ambitious, and trustworthy.
Mother’s Day is observed on the second Sunday in May. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed May 9, 1914, the first Mother’s Day in the United States. The tradition dates back to pagan celebrations in Ancient Greece in honor of Rhea, the mother of gods.
National Poppy Day is celebrated on May 26, this year. The red poppy of remembrance is a nationally recognized symbol of sacrifice worn by Americans since WWI to honor those who served and died for our country in all wars. Poppies are worn as a show of support for the Armed Forces community.
This year, Memorial Day is on Monday, May 29. Memorial Day honors those who lost their lives while defending their country. The holiday traces its roots to the post Civil War era, when citizens would place spring flower memorials on the graves of fallen soldiers. Dorchester Post 91 will hold its annual service at Long Wharf at 11:00 AM on Memorial Day.
The National Moment of Remembrance, which formally began in the year 2000, calls Americans to voluntarily and informally take a moment of silence at 3:00 PM (local time) on Memorial Day.
“May, more than any month of the year, wants us to feel most alive.” -Fennel Hudson
Kate Emery General is a retired chef/restaurant owner that was born and raised in Casper, Wyoming. Kate loves her grandchildren, knitting and watercolor painting. Kate and her husband , Matt are longtime residents of Cambridge’s West End where they enjoy swimming and bicycling.