Full Moon in May 2021

Watch for the Full Flower Moon—a Supermoon and a Lunar Eclipse!

May 24, 2021
Full Flower Moon - OFA

May’s full Moon reaches its peak on Wednesday, May 26! This full Moon will be the closest full Moon of the year, making it the second of two supermoons—don’t miss it! Plus, it will coincide with a total lunar eclipse in some areas. Here’s everything you should know about this month’s full Moon, including how it came to be called the “Flower Moon.”

When to See the Full Moon in May 2021

May’s full Flower Moon reaches peak illumination at 7:14 A.M. (EDT) on Wednesday, May 26. It will be very close to or below the horizon at this time, so plan to venture outdoors the night before (Tuesday, May 25) or on Wednesday night to get the best view of the bright full Flower Moon! Find a location with unobstructed views of the horizon, if possible. See what time the Moon will be visible in your area with our Moonrise and Moonset Calculator.

A “Blood Moon” Total Lunar Eclipse… If You’re Lucky

This month’s full Moon coincides with a total lunar eclipse! A lunar eclipse occurs when Earth stands directly between the Moon and the Sun, which results in Earth casting its shadow on the Moon. During a total lunar eclipse, the Moon is fully obscured by Earth’s shadow, giving the Moon a reddish hue. This phenomenon is where the term “blood moon” comes from. 

Don’t get your hopes up too high for this one, though. This total lunar eclipse occurs in the pre-dawn hours of May 26 and will only be visible for stargazers in western North America, western South America, eastern Asia, and Oceania. Those who are located near the Rocky Mountains will be able to catch a glimpse of the partial lunar eclipse before the Moon sets below the horizon, but those further east won’t see much of anything at all, since the Moon will already be below the horizon at the time of the eclipse. Even on the West Coast, the Moon will be so low in the sky during the eclipse that you’ll need to find a high vantage point with a clear view of the western horizon.

The Moon will enter the outer edge of Earth’s shadow (called the “penumbra”) at 1:46 A.M. PDT and reach the darkest part of its shadow (the “umbra”) at 2:45 A.M. PDT, which is when the partial eclipse begins. The total eclipse will last from 4:11 A.M. PDT to 4:26 A.M. PDT. The Moon will leave the umbra at 5:53 A.M. PDT and the penumbra at 6:51 A.M. PDT.

Read more about the eclipse here!

Super Flower Moon: The Closest Supermoon of 2021

Two supermoons occur in 2021—the first was April’s Pink Moon and the second will be May’s Flower Moon. 

When the full Moon appears this month, it will be ever-so-slightly closer to Earth than it was in April, meaning that May’s Flower Moon will be the biggest and brightest full Moon of the year—technically speaking. To the naked eye, May’s full Moon won’t actually look any bigger or brighter than April’s, since the Moon’s distance from Earth differs by less than 100 miles between April and May. This is a miniscule distance in the grand scale of space, but we will still see a bright, beautiful supermoon nonetheless!

Supermoons in 2021

Name Date Distance from Earth
Full Pink Moon April 26 at 11:33 P.M. EDT 222,211.7 miles (357,615 km)
Full Flower Moon May 26 at 7:14 A.M. EDT 222,116.6 miles (357,462 km)
Perigee distance data courtesy of Fred Espenak, www.Astropixels.com.

On average, supermoons are about 7% bigger and about 15% brighter than a typical full Moon. Learn more about supermoons here!

Why Is It Called the Flower Moon?

The full Moon names used by The Old Farmer’s Almanac come from a number of places, including Native American, Colonial American, and European sources. Traditionally, each full Moon name was applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred, not solely to the full Moon.

The Flower Moon

May’s Flower Moon name should be no surprise; flowers spring forth across North America in abundance this month!

  • “Flower Moon” has been attributed to Algonquin peoples, as confirmed by Christina Ruddy of The Algonquin Way Cultural Centre in Pikwakanagan, Ontario.
  • May’s Moon was also referred to as the “Month of Flowers” by Jonathan Carver in his 1798 publication, Travels Through the Interior Parts of North America: 1766, 1767, 1768 (pp. 250-252), as a likely Dakota name. Carver stayed with the Naudowessie (Dakota) over a period of time; his expedition covered the Great Lakes region, including Wisconsin and Minnesota areas.
  • Henry David Thoreau sparked to Native American Moon names as well, referencing the Flower Moon and Carver when he wrote about Native Americans.

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Alternative May Moon Names

May’s Moon names tend to speak to the arrival of spring and all that it entails! 

The Cree names Budding Moon and Leaf Budding Moon celebrate the awakening of local flora, which really begin to leaf out now in many areas. Similarly, Planting Moon (Dakota, Lakota) marks the time when seeds should be started for the farming season ahead. 

The activities of animals marked spring’s arrival, too, which is highlighted by the Cree names Egg Laying Moon and Frog Moon, as well as the Oglala term Moon of the Shedding Ponies. All three names indicate that warmer weather is on the way!

► See all 12 months of full Moon names and meanings.

Moon Phases for May 2021

All dates and times are EDT. See our Moon Phase Calendar for times in your location.

May Moon Phase Dates and Times

Last Quarter: May 3, 3:51 P.M. EDT
New Moon: May 11, 3:01 P.M. EDT
Last Quarter: May 19, 3:13 P.M. EDT
Full Moon: May 26, 7:14 A.M. EDT

When is the next full Moon? Find out in our Full Moon Dates chart.

Full Flower Moon Video

Each month, we will explain the traditional names of the full Moon along with some Moon facts. Click below to watch the video and learn about May’s Full Flower Moon.

Best Days in May 2021

Below are the best days for activities, based on the Moon’s sign and phase in May.

For Gardening:

  • Planting aboveground crops: 15, 16, 24, 25
  • Planting belowground crops: 5, 6

For Setting Eggs:

  • 3, 4, 21–23, 30, 31

For Fishing:

  • 11–26

See Best Days for more activities.

Full Moon Folklore

  • Clothes washed for the first time in the Full Moon will not last long.
  • The Full Moon is an ideal time to accept a proposal of marriage.

Share your thoughts about the Moon below!

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Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

Supermoon

Last year about this time was the first time I saw my first SUPERMOON and I am a lifetime stargazer .. what we witnessed was the clouds came in fast and dark and u. Could barely see her then poof the dark clouds vanished and she was glowing enough to put glare in camera ....I am a moon child..actually I would say sky child too my favorite ..watching white puffy clouds form shapes as a child .my brother and I still do after 55 years now when can name from characters in fantasy stories.. our first supermoon was the universes way of communicating with me that we are on a lil piece of heaven and our total world our trees that frame the sky look like a heart ..I have moon phase apps.on my phone lol. LUNA LOVER

Supermoon

Last year about this time was the first time I saw my first SUPERMOON and I am a lifetime stargazer .. what we witnessed was the clouds came in fast and dark and u. Could barely see her then poof the dark clouds vanished and she was glowing enough to put glare in camera ....I am a moon child..actually I would say sky child too my favorite ..watching white puffy clouds form shapes as a child .my brother and I still do after 55 years now when can name from characters in fantasy stories.. our first supermoon was the universes way of communicating with me that we are on a lil piece of heaven and our total world our trees that frame the sky look like a heart ..I have moon phase apps.on my phone lol. LUNA LOVER

Flower Moon

Dude, my grandma, who was a woman of pure European blood in a very isolated rural area of Europe, called the whole month of may Flower Month. We usually make sculpture with certain flowers and leaves, and carpets of flowers in this month, so… the name is just logical.

Planting above ground cold hardy crops in NWOntario

Hello,
I am a large beef farmer's daughter and now soon 52 yrs young. My parents were huge gardeners as well. I have had a vegetable/flower garden for as long as I can remember. I have never planted according to the moon phases. My parents spoke of always planting on the May Long Weekend. That is traditionally the time to plant in our zone 3. I am rethinking this tradition a little and tweaking it some... I am always struggling with spinach that bolts and lettuce! Well it loves cooler temps and I intend to plant it today or tomorrow along with peas, kale, brussell sprouts, and cabbage. The moon is in the waxing phase here now as just recently being the new moon. So it may just cost me some seed but after all that I have read I believe I will have a great harvest of these veg this year. PS my spinach actually over-wintered last year 2019-2020 which was not a very mild winter but lots of snow for insulation may have facilitated this.

Poppies, snapdragons are going directly out soon as well. They have also year after year came up from self sowing and I am not worried about these hardy frost tolerant floweres.

After the full moon in April I will experiment with the waning moon phase with potatoes, radish, turnip, beets, and onions. What do you think of this idea? I am wrong should I wait until the same periods in May as it is April here and our last frost date is June 6?

Since the pandemic hit I started a mail order seed business. It is my new passion and so far growing and doing well and steady.

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

Planting

The Editors's picture

Those root crops are all cool-weather tolerant, so you could certainly get away with starting them at the end of April and into early May. However, the most important factor is your garden’s soil temperature. If the soil temperature is below 10°C (50°F), most seeds won’t germinate or will take a longer time to get started. 

In any case, you’ll want to keep a close eye on the forecast and cover any young plants (especially potatoes) to protect their foliage from frosts. 

Eternal moon...

I have long thought that if I've lived past lives, I have stared at the same moon from different eyes, in places and times long forgotten. Such a comforting thought :) Love your articles, thank you!

The Moons pull

Like Connie on May 29, 2018 - 10:19am, I have always loved looking at the moon. When I was a little girl I would lay on the grass and let the moon "pull me". I can barely explain it in any terms that make sense but I could/can feel a subtle, visceral (sensation) of pulling (what I thought at the time, pre-5 years old). I thinking about it now, I feel it interacts with my solar plexus chakra and even as I type, I feel it. (true story) For all of our wisdom and knowledge though, we have so much yet to learn about who we really are and how we fit into the grand design. <3 THANKS too, to you for forging this path - to help bridge the past with the present & future.

The moon pulls

I too have always had an feeling that as a young person could not understand. Now I'm in my later years and get it. Could not put into words what I knew in my mind.l never spoke of it,looking ,studying, and feeling these pulls toward it.After all,I went to Catholic school and the nuns only spoke of it as something G d made,yet ,I stayed in wonder.

Surgery

My grandmother was a true believer in attending to health matters according to the farmer's almanac. I will be having hip and knee surgery in the near future. When would be the best time to have it done for healing during the month of May and June. thank you.

ELAINE

In the summer when its hot, it's harder to heal. My dad had double knee surgery and it was hot that summer. His knees just took longer.

The Full Moon on May 29th 2018

Why does the Moon look full tonight May 30th 2018 still? I live in Sedalia Mo. 65301 and Moon is beautiful bright big and full.

Moon

The Editors's picture

The Moon changes phases slowly, so it will appear to be full before and after its “peak fullness,” which occurred on the 29th of May.

Full Moons

I have always loved looking at the moon.When I was a little girl riding in the car,I really believed that it followed me! I have shown each grandchild the moon (and stars).My 2 year old great granddaughter loves the moon. I will be watching the moon come up tonight.

Full moon

You gave pics of full moons for most months. What about July ? Is there not a full moon ?

Almanac great site !

I love the info here, when i was just checking date for full moon, duh...and
the comments are terrific too.
thanks for continuing all the sharings you do here!

smart people never take stuff for 'granted' or as 'entitled to'...right ?

in nature's bounty and appreciation to ya alllll...

Why???

Why does it always read that the moon phases are in the AM?? Like we can see and appreciate the Full Flower Moon at 10:20 A.M. That's in the daytime....

Full Moon Times

The Editors's picture

The time of day listed is the point in time when the Moon will be at its fullest according to the lunar cycle. Of course, in this case it will still look like a full Moon the night before and the night after.

Cool

Cool

Time of the full flower moon rise

So exactly when will this full moon be rising over Lake Michigan herebin Milwaukee WI today?? I’ve never yet been given the correct time, and Ive missed a couple moonrises because of that. Thanks!!

Full Flower Moon

When is the best ime to plant flowers during the Full Flower Moon period?

Full Moon

Parasites greatly multiply during full moon also. Cut down or omit on sugar during at that time.

Why does women go crazy on a

Why does women go crazy on a full or new moon?

The greatest lesson that I

The greatest lesson that I have learned so far is that every single human is at one time or another, crazy. Like my brother who is 33 and still getting arrested for trespassing, drinks tons of pop and smokes too many cigarettes.

Why DO women go crazy on a full or new moon?

Because women are more sensitive to the vibrations emitted by all the planets, and when the moon goes to full, it's like the universe has turned on a gigantic light bulb. It is, however, a great time to ask for whatever you want to manifest in your life. Just face the Old Man in the Moon, and ask. I've done it. It works! Because, we all know God is there...

I am getting married on May

I am getting married on May 21st, 2016. Full moon - Full Flower moon- lots of abundance to bring forth, a time to be creative and bring forth our new life <3

I've always loved the moon

I've always loved the moon and stars. God created this beautiful magnificent world and I thank him for it.

I hear ya

Right, On !

Moon child

I love the moon too! I’m crazy about it’s beauty. I call myself a moon gazer LOL

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