May Cheat Sheet: Birth Month Facts, Legend & Lore
May is a fabulous month to arrive. The weather is mostly pleasant, flowers are out and summer is on the way. According to the Farmer’s Almanac “May acts as the bridge between spring and summer, hinting at warmer weather for those still stuck in spring’s grasp, while heating things up for those already well on their way.”
According to Time, “babies born in spring score high on the hyperthymia scale, meaning they have a general sense of optimism about them.” In other words, those born in May tend to “see every down as a prelude to an up” But there’s a flip side, that same Time article also notes — using a study of 58,000 people — that May babies have the highest rates of clinical depression. Like the great Marshawn Lynch would say “watch your mentals!”
Notable holidays include:
- May Day – May 1st
- May the Fourth (Be With You) – May 4th
- Cinco de Mayo – May 5th
- Mother’s Day – 14th
- Armed Forces Day – May 20th
- Memorial Day – May 29th
“May” is likely named after the Roman goddess Maia, who oversaw the growth of plants, however there was a Greek goddess by the same name. The Greek goddess became conflated with the Roman Maia Majesta, a goddess of fertility and spring—appropriate for the growth and increase we see in May.
- A dry May and a leaking June
Make the farmer whistle a merry tune.A snowstorm in May
Is worth a wagonload of hay.Among the changing months, May stands confessed
The sweetest, and in fairest colors dressed!
–James Thomson, Scottish poet (1700–48)
Emerald. The birthstone for May is a symbol of rebirth and is believed to grant the owner foresight, good fortune, and youth. Emerald, derived from the word “smaragdus,” means, quite literally, “green” in Greek.
Emeralds can be found all over the globe, which would explain why the elite classes from Egyptian pharaohs to Inca emperors loved them but Colombia has been the source of the finest emeralds for more than 500 years, and Colombian emeralds are the standard by which all others are measured. The deeper or greener an emerald is, the more valuable it is. According to the GIA, the rarest emerald gemstones will appear to be an intense green-blue color
May Birthstone myths
According to the American Gem Society “Not only is emerald the birthstone for May, but it’s also linked to Gemini, Taurus, Leo, and Aries astrological signs.”
“Legends say that emerald has calming effects and loving energy. Some people use this gem in their daily meditations to help reduce stress. The green color invokes symbols of nature and money, leading many to believe in its ability to bring abundance to the owner.”
“It has been known as the “Stone of Successful Love,” representing inspiration, patience, and unity. Centuries ago, it was linked to the goddess Venus. Many people have given emerald jewelry as gifts to their romantic partners.”
“Other folklore has stated that emeralds relieved issues in muscles, eyes, the spine, and the chest area. It was believed to have rejuvenating properties.”
May Birth Flower
If you arrive in May, you have two birth flowers: Lily of the Valley and Hawthorn.
Lily-of-the-valley, with its small, dainty, bell-shaped white flowers, is a perennial groundcover that spreads aggressively given the right conditions. These flowers represent sweetness and purity,
Hawthorns are flowering shrubs in the rose family with flowers that bloom in May in small white, red, or pink clusters. Small berries, called haws, sprout after the flowers. The hawthorn is a longstanding symbol of hope.
Signs for May are Taurus and Gemini. If you arrived between April 20th and May 20th, your sign is Taurus. Aries is a fire sign, and people born under this sign are said to be passionate, confident, and energetic. If your arrival was between April 21st and May 21st.
Taurus, the bull, represents those born between April 20th and May 20th. Known for its stability, reliability, and sensuality. Taurus is an Earth sign, and its ruling planet is Venus. People born under the Taurus sign are said to be patient, practical, and reliable. They are also said to be sensual, loving, and devoted.
Gemini, the twins, represents those born between May 21st and June 20th. Playful and intellectually curious, Gemini is constantly juggling a variety of passions, hobbies, careers, and friend groups. They are the social butterflies of the zodiac: These quick-witted twins can talk to anyone about anything. Find them buzzing between happy hours, dinner parties, and dance floors.