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Names for May
earlier: Bleuet, Blühmond, Blumenmond, Winnemond, Wonnemond, Wonnemonat
Lat.  Nom .: Maius / Majus
Lat.  Gene. : Maii / Maji
Maij, May

The May (from Middle High German meie : the month of May ', also, Spring') is the fifth month of the year in the Gregorian calendar . He has 31 days .

According to a number of Latin authors, this month is named after the Roman goddess Maia , to whom the Flemings Volcanalis made a sacrifice on the first day of this month. The creation of the equation of this - according to Gellius - venerated goddess “Maia Vulcani” (probably to be thought of as the “wife of Vulcanus”) with the goddess Bona Dea and Terra - according to Macrobius - or a Pleiad and the mother of Hermes / Mercurius is unclear; but the etymological assignment to the word root * mag (and thus to growth and multiplication) is considered certain. This means that the mensis Maius is part of the original Roman peasant year. Macrobius knows a god "Maius, qui est Iuppiter", who is only locally worshiped. During the reign of Emperor Nero , the month was renamed Claudius , one of the names of the emperor, which, however, did not prevail. Under Emperor Commodus , the month was then called Lucius , again one of his names, and this renaming was also reversed after the emperor's death.

In the pre-Julian Roman calendar, May was the third month, and in the Julian calendar the fifth, each with 31 days.

Maial tärchen in honor of Mary

In the Catholic church year , May is particularly dedicated to the veneration of the Mother of God Mary ( Marian custom in May ), which is why it is also referred to as Mary's moon in this context . The month of May is especially dedicated to the worship of the rosary . May begins on the same day of the week as January of the following year, but no other month of the same year begins on the same day of the week as May.

The month of May in the chronograph of 354 by the late antique calligrapher Filocalus .

The first of May is the international public holiday (in Germany: public holiday) of the labor movement . The second Sunday in May is Mother's Day in German-speaking countries .

Charlemagne introduced the name Wonnemond in the 8th century (actually Old High German "wunnimanot" = pasture month), which indicates that the cattle could be brought back to pasture in this month. The old name of the month actually has nothing to do with “delight” in today's context. But this misunderstanding can already be found at the beginning of the modern era and New High German. According to the German dictionary of the Brothers Grimm sv WONNEMONAT, Basilius Faber declares in 1587 [sic!]: "Maius, der may, a frondibus Carolus Magnus the merry month, id est mensem amoenitatis olim nuncupavit" ("maius, der may, once named Karl after the leaves the great the merry month, ie the month of loveliness ”). May was also called the flower moon because of the main flowering time of most plants. According to old tradition , one can only be sure of the increasing warmth after the so-called ice saints from May 11th to May 15th. May has been celebrated in Europe with May celebrations, parades and rides since around the 13th century. In many areas of Germany and Austria, the setting up of imposing maypoles is an established custom; Festivals like Beltane or Walpurgis Night had existed for a long time .

See also

Web links

Wikisource: May  sources and full texts
Commons : May  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: May  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikiquote: May  Quotes
Wiktionary: Wonnemond  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


  1. Lorenz Diefenbach : Glossarium latino-germanicum mediae et infimae aetatis. Baer, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1857, p. 611, and Novum glossarium latino-germanicum mediae et infimae aetatis. Contributions to the scientific knowledge of the New Latin and Germanic languages. Sauerländer, Frankfurt am Main 1867, p. 278.
  2. Manfred Clauss : Emperor and God: Rulers Cult in the Roman Empire . Munich: KG Saur Verlag GmbH, night printing of the 1st edition 2001, p. 240 ( limited preview )
  3. Manfred Clauss : Emperor and God: Rulers Cult in the Roman Empire . Munich: KG Saur Verlag GmbH, night printing of the 1st edition 2001, p. 241 ( limited preview )