Today is the fifth day of the fifth month of the Gregorian calendar.
If January was named for Janus, the Roman god of gates and beginnings; February for the Roman purification festival of Februa; March for Mars, the Roman god of war; and April to commemorate the beginning of the spring season; how then did May arrive at its name?
In Honour of the goddess, Called Maia?
According to ancient Greek legend, the month May was named for the Greek goddess, Maia, who was identified with the Roman 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, a Latin word for elders.
Some Interesting Facts About May, the Fifth Month
- May’s birthstone is the emerald which represents love and success
- Though the birth flower for May is the Lily of the Valley; the Mayflower, also known as Hawthorn blossoms is also seen as the flower that ushers in May especially in Britain, the New England states of the US, and Nova Scotia in Canada
- Because May 2016 started on a Sunday, the 13th day will be a Friday – the combination of which some people think makes this day an unlucky one.
- In Nigeria, there are three national holidays in May: May 1 – Workers’ day; May 27 – Children’s Day and May 29 – Democracy Day
- May was once considered a bad luck month to get married. There was even a poem that went: “Marry in May and you’ll rue the day.”!
- In the United Kingdom, May is the “National Smile Month”
- For avid astronomers and star gazers, the Eta Aquariids meteor shower appears in May, it is visible from about April 21 to about May 20 each year with peak activity on or around May 6. The Arietids shower, from May 22 – July 2, with its peak period occuring on June 7. The Virginids also shower at various dates in May.