Flower Moon: Full Moon in May 2024

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the full flower moon, the may full moon, the old farmers almanac
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Colleen Quinnell/The Old Farmer's Almanac

Watch the Full Flower Moon Bloom!

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Did you watch Martin Scorsese’s ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’? Find out the meaning of the Flower Moon, the first Moon of May. And start looking up on Wednesday, May 22, as it peaks early on the 23rd!

When to See the Full Moon in May 2024

May’s full Flower Moon reaches peak illumination at 9:53 A.M. (EDT) on Thursday, May 23. It will be below the horizon at this time. Therefore, venture outdoors on the nights of the 22nd and the 23rd 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

Why Is It Called the Flower Moon?

The full moon names used by The Old Farmer’s Almanac come from many 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 called 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 the Wisconsin and Minnesota areas.
  • Henry David Thoreau sparked the Native American Moon names as well, referencing the Flower Moon and Carver when he wrote about Native Americans.

full flower moon, may full moon

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 begins 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 2024

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 1, 7:27 A.M. EDT
New Moon: May 7, 11:22 P.M. EDT
First Quarter: May 15, 7:48 A.M. EDT
Full Moon: May 23, 9:53 A.M. EDT
Last Quarter: May 30, 1:13 P.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 2024

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

For Gardening:

  • Planting aboveground crops: 11, 12
  • Planting belowground crops: 3, 4, 30, 31

For Setting Eggs:

  • 1, 17-19, 27, 28

For Fishing:

  • 7-23

See the 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 May Moon below!

About The Author

Catherine Boeckmann

Catherine Boeckmann loves nature, stargazing, and gardening so it’s not surprising that she and The Old Farmer’s Almanac found each other. She leads digital content for the Almanac website, and is also a certified master gardener in the state of Indiana. Read More from Catherine Boeckmann

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