May’s full Moon rises on Thursday, May 7! This full Moon will be the last of the three supermoons to occur this year, so don’t miss it! Here’s everything you should know about this month’s full moon, including how it got its name, “The Full Flower Moon.”
When to See the Full Moon in May 2020
May’s full Flower Moon reaches peak illumination at 6:45 A.M. (EDT) on Thursday, May 7. It will be below the horizon at this time, so plan to venture outdoors the night before (Wednesday, May 6) or on Thursday night to get the best view of the bright full Flower Moon! Find out what time the Moon will be visible in your area with our Moonrise and Moonset Calculator.
The Final Supermoon of 2020
When the full Moon appears this month, it will be ever-so-slightly farther away than it was in April and March. May’s full Moon still qualifies as a supermoon, but it won’t be as bright or as big as the others in the series, technically speaking. However, the difference in distance between its orbit and April’s—about 2500 miles—is not much in the grand scale of space, so you will still see a bright, beautiful supermoon!
On average, supermoons are about 7% bigger and about 15% brighter than a typical full Moon. Learn more about supermoons here!
Moon Phases for May 2020
All dates and times are EDT. See our Moon Phase Calendar for times in your location.
||Full Moon: May 7, 6:45 A.M. EDT|
|Last Quarter: May 14, 10:03 A.M. EDT|
||New Moon: May 22, 1:39 P.M. EDT|
||Last Quarter: May 29, 11:30 P.M. EDT|
When is the next full Moon? Find out in our Full Moon Dates chart.
Why Is It Called the Full Flower Moon?
The tradition of naming Moons is rich in history. Here at The Old Farmer’s Almanac, we have long honored the Native American Moon names and the folklore of those who came before us. We follow the full Moon names that were used during Native American and Colonial times to help track the seasons—usually from the Algonquin tribes who lived in the same areas as the Colonists.
May’s Full Flower Moon name is not surprising. Flowers spring forth in abundance this month!
- The Full Flower Moon was used by the Algonquins, 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 likely a Sioux name. Carver stayed with the Naudowessie (Dakota/Sioux) over a period of time; his expedition covered the Great Lakes area, including Wisconsin and Minnesota areas.
- Henry David Thoreau sparked to the Native American Moon names as well, referencing the Flower Moon and Carver when he wrote about the American Indians.
Depending on the community, May’s full Moon was also called Mother’s Moon, Milk Moon, and Corn Planting Moon. The May full Moon marked a time of increasing fertility, with temperatures warm enough for safely bearing young, a near end to late frosts, and plants in bloom.
Learn more about Full Moon names and their meanings.
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 2020
Below are the best days for activities, based on the Moon’s sign and phase in May.
- Planting aboveground crops: 25, 26
- Planting belowground crops: 15, 16
For Setting Eggs:
- 4, 5, 12–14, 31
- 1–7, 22–31
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!