The arrival of May 2016 brings with it many springtime traditions and celebrations to honor the phenomenal growth in the garden and the warming of the sun. See our tips!
The glittering leaves of the rhododendrons
Balance and vibrate in the cool air;
While in the sky above them
White clouds chase each other.
—John Gould Fletcher (1886-1950)
May is named for the Roman goddess Maia, who oversaw the growth of plants.
Cinco de Mayo (“The Fifth of May”) celebrates the victory of the Mexicans over the French army at The Battle of Puebla in 1862.
May’s Zodiac Signs
Taurus: April 21 to May 20
Gemini: May 21 to June 20
May’s Birth Flower
Hawthorn or Lily-of-the-Valley
The hawthorn means hope. The lily-of-the-valley symbolizes sweetness or the return of happiness. Learn more about May’s birth flowers.
See more on our “Seasonal Cooking: Spring Recipes” page!
Cook with more vegetables and fruit. Look inside Cooking Fresh With The Old Farmer’s Almanac!
See our free vegetable, herb, and fruit plant guides for tips on planting, growing, and harvesting your most popular crops.
In May, enjoy new life! Attract hummingbirds to your garden. See our list of plants that attract hummingbirds.
Celebrate a new season of flowers by planting window boxes!
This is also the time when moles start coming out. See our page on how to control moles.
Enjoy our weekly Gardening Blog for timely gardening advice!
The wedding season is almost upon us. Find out wedding weather, sunset times, folklore, and more on our Wedding Planner page.
Don’t get stressed! We’ve got Stress and Anxiety Remedies to help provide relief.
Spring cleaning? See homemade cleaning remedies and other tips to help you around the home.
May’s full Moon, the Full Flower Moon, occurs on the 21st, at 5:14 P.M. (Eastern Time). See the Full Moon for May Guide for facts and folklore.
See Sky Watch for May and navigate the night sky from your own backyard.
We also offer free, printable sky maps that are great for stargazing!
Folklore for the Season
A dry May and a leaking June
Make the farmer whistle a merry tune.
According to astronomers, what is a Julian day?
Answer: The term “Julian day” can be confusing because it has several meanings, including being a date on the Julian calendar. In astronomy, however, the Julian day (or Julian day number) is the number of days that have passed since the start of a Julian period. The Julian period is a year-numbering system developed by 16th-century French astronomer Joseph Justus Scaliger. He determined that the current Julian period began on January 1, 4713 B.C. of the Julian calendar; every 7,980 years, the count of years restarts.
For dating and comparing the timing of astronomical events and observations, John Herschel and other astronomers created a day-numbering system based on Scaliger’s Julian period. There are no months in a Julian day system; it simply counts the days, and fractions of days in decimals, since the period began. Julian day 0 occurred on January 1, 4713 B.C. The Julian day starts at noon Universal Time (Greenwich Mean Time) so that nighttime astronomical events occur on one Julian day.
A Julian date includes the fraction of a Julian day. For example, on May 1, 2016 (Gregorian calendar date), at midnight (the start of the day on a common calendar) the Julian day number is 2457509, and the Julian date is 2457509.5. On May 1, 2016, at noon, the Julian day number changes to 2457510 and the Julian date to 2457510.0.