The Real Estate Encyclopedia
The Marvelous Month of May
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Everything is blooming most recklessly;
if it were voices instead of colors, there would
be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.
- Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke

May! Queen of blossoms,
And fulfilling flowers,
With what pretty music
Shall we charm the hours?
Wilt thou have pipe and reed,
Blown in the open mead?
Or to the lute give heed
In the green bowers?
- Lord Edward Thurlow, May

There are few other months in the year that inspire the kind of glee that one feels when turning the calendar from the last rainy day of April 30 th to the fresh, bursting-with-blooms weather ahead in the month of May. Sleeping gardens awake in a riot of color and profusion of new growth, birds renew acquaintances in adjacent treetops, and the sun lingers on the horizon an average of two minutes longer each passing day. Ah, glorious May! What’s not to love? Read on to discover the many wonders of one of the fairest of all months.

What’s in a Name?

The name for the month of May has been believed to derive from the name of the Roman goddess 'Maia', who was revered as the “Goddess of Springtime, of Growth and Increase', and who was also the mother of 'Mercury', the winged messenger of the Gods.

Time to Celebrate!

Folk celebrations of early May in Europe began as a celebration of life and fertility, the time for planting of crops and vegetable gardens,
and for the regeneration of life that comes with increased sunlight. Beltane (derived from a Celtic name meaning “bright fire"), was an ancient Gaelic holiday celebrated around May 1st, and was marked by running cattle (symbols of wealth and status) through the smoke of bonfires to purify them and bring good luck. People would often run through the smoke to purify themselves as well. The celebration of Beltane continues today in some places, such as in the Beltane Fire Festival .

Another version of this holiday is called May Day, and a charming tradition of this day is to surprise your friends and loved ones by hanging tiny baskets of May flowers and goodies on their door, ringing the doorbell, and then running away before they see you!

More Special Days in May

May 1May Day, Beltane

May 5Cinco de Mayo

May 8 – Mother’s Day

May 29 - The First People to Summit Mount Everest

May 31 – Memorial Day

Birthstone : Emerald

Flower : Lily of the Valley

Recipe for May

In most areas May heralds the arrival of fresh, plump strawberries from the local farmer's market. Combined with a little lemon (also an early harvest in some places) and just 3 tablespoons of sugar, you can make this delicious healthy dessert to celebrate May's bounty.

Strawberries in Lemon Lavender Syrup

Now the bright morning-star, Day’s harbinger,
Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose.
Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire!
Woods and groves are of thy dressing;
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.
- John Milton, Song on a May Morning, 1660

By the time one is eighty, it is said, there is no longer a tug of war
in the garden with the May flowers hauling like mad against the
claims of the other months. All is at last in balance and all is
serene. The gardener is usually dead, of course.
- Henry Mitchell, The Essential Earthman, 1981


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