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May: Flower Moon

The Full Moon in May is known as the Flower Moon. Other names include the Planting Moon, and the Milk Moon, while some named it the Hare Moon.

Out of focus cherry blossoms framing a sharp Full Moon in the middle of the image.

The Flower Moon is named after the abundant flowers that grow in the Northern Hemisphere in May.

©iStockphoto.com/kumikomini

Wildflowers in Bloom

The Full Moon of May is known as Flower Moon to signify the flowers that bloom during this month. Native Americans called it Budding Moon, Egg Laying Moon, and Planting Moon.

The Anglo-Saxon name for May’s brightest Moon phase is Milk Moon from the Old English Rimilcemona. It means three-milkings-month in modern English because cows were milked three times a day during this time of year. The Celtic and Old English names are Mothers’ Moon, Bright Moon, Hare Moon, and Grass Moon.

Many wildflowers bloom in May in the Northern Hemisphere, where these traditional Full Moon names originated. For example, many types of anemone, wild garlic, indigo, bluebells, lupine, sundrops, and violets, to name just a few. It is no wonder that the colorful displays these flowers create in nature have inspired people to call this time after them.

12 Full Moon Names

The Full Moon has been integral to tracking the change of months and seasons since ancient times.

Today, we use many of these ancient month names as Full Moon names, and many of them come from the Colonial Americans adopting Native American names into their calendars.

Although the most commonly used Full Moon names are English interpretations of Native American names, some are also Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, medieval English, and Neo-Pagan.

Topics: Moon, May, Calendar, History, Seasons, Months, Full Moon Names