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May is the fifth month of the year, coming between April and June. It has 31 days. The month of May might have been named for the Roman goddess Maia, or more likely the Roman goddess of fertility Bona Dea, whose festival was held in May.

May's flower is the Lily of the Valley. Its birthstone is the emerald. The meaning of the emerald is success in love.

The Month

Flowers and Trees in full bloom in the Northern Hemisphere, where May is in late Spring.

May comes between April and June and is the fifth month of the year in the Gregorian calendar. It has 31 days, being one of seven months to do so. In the older Roman calendar, May was the third month of the year. It is a spring month in the Northern Hemisphere and an autumn month in the Southern Hemisphere. May is likely to have been named after the Roman goddess Maia, though there is a theory that May might have its name from the Latin "Maiores", meaning "Seniors". The same theory suggests that June would then be named from "Iuniores", meaning "Juniors".

In any year, no month starts or ends on the same day of the week as May, though January of the following year starts and ends on the same days of the week as May. In a common year it ends on the same day of the week as August and November of the previous year and starts on the same day of the week as August of the previous year. In a leap year, May starts on the same day of the week as February, March and November of the previous year and ends on the same day of the week as March and June of the previous year.

In the Northern Hemisphere, May is in late Spring, and May Day on May 1 and Walpurgis Night, during the night of April 30 to May 1, are symbolic of the transition from winter to summer. In the Southern Hemisphere, it is in autumn, and comes just before the Antarctic winter, when emperor penguins breed there.

Events in May

Fixed Events

A May Tree symbolic of May 1, May Day, in Germany.
Victory Day celebration in Moscow on May 9.
Celebration of Constitution Day in Norway on May 17.

Moveable and Monthlong Events

Selection of Historical Events

Newspaper celebrating Victory in Europe Day on May 8, 1945.
Painting showing agreement of Norway's Constitution on May 17, 1814.
A member of the public posing on the opening day of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco on May 27, 1937.

[[File:Hillary and tenzing.jpg|thumb|160px|right| May 1, 1851 - Start of the Great Exhibition in London


[[File:Rosa chinensis.jpg|thumb|180px|right|The Rosa chinensis is a flower symbolizing May.]]