|The American, May, 1923|
May is the fifth month of the year. May was named for the Greek Goddess Maia, a daughter of Atlas, a Pleiade, and the mother of the God Hermes, whose Roman counter part was the fertility Goddess Bona Dea, whose festivals were held during the month. The festival allowed women to make blood sacrifices and use strong wines, which was forbidden at the time. Men were not allowed to know her "mysteries" or her true name. Ovid gives us another idea - that May came from the Latin word maiores, which meant "elders", and that the following month, June, was named for the "young people".
The birthstone for May is the emerald, and the birth flower is the lily-of-the-valley and the common hawthorn. Epigaea repens, commonly referred to as the mayflower, is for us North Americans, the sign that May has arrived. The Zodiac signs are Taurus, the Cretan bull, and Gemini, the twins Castor and Pollux, brothers who achieved godhood after death.
May in other langauges: Mei (Dutch), Toukokuu (Finnish)
May as a name: May, Gwalchmei (possibly "May hawk")
Flowers: Lily, Hawthorn, Mayflower, Kielo ("lily-of-the-valley")
Gems: Emerald, Esmeraude (Old French version), Esmeralda (Spanish name meaning "emerald"), Emeraude (Possibly French or Middle English version), Beryl (emerald is a type of beryl)
Zodiac: Taurus, Fintan ("white bull" or "white fire"), Byron ("place of the cow sheds"), Enikő ("deer" or "cow"), Hathor (An ancient Egyptian Goddess associated with cattle); Gemini, Castor, Pollux, Thomas ("twin")
Fifth: Pontius ("fifth"), Quintus ("fifth")