Flower Moon: Full Moon in May 2023 | The Old Farmer's Almanac

Flower Moon: Full Moon in May 2023

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Watch the Full Flower Moon Bloom!

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May’s full Moon reaches its peak on May 5, 2023! Here’s everything you should know about this month’s full Moon, including how it came to be called the “Flower Moon.”

When to See the Full Moon in May 2023

May’s full Flower Moon reaches peak illumination at 1:36 P.M. (EDT) on Friday, May 5. It will be below the horizon at this time, so plan to venture outdoors on the nights of the 4th and the 5th to get the best view of the bright full Flower Moon! Find a location with unobstructed views of the horizon, if possible. See what time the moon will be visible in your area with our Moonrise and Moonset Calculator

Why Is It Called the Flower Moon?

The full moon names used by The Old Farmer’s Almanac come from a number of places, including Native American, Colonial American, and European sources. Traditionally, each full Moon name was applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred, not solely to the full Moon.

The Flower Moon

May’s Flower Moon name should be no surprise; flowers spring forth across North America in abundance this month!

  • “Flower Moon” has been attributed to Algonquin peoples, as confirmed by Christina Ruddy of The Algonquin Way Cultural Centre in Pikwakanagan, Ontario.
  • May’s Moon was also referred to as the “Month of Flowers” by Jonathan Carver in his 1798 publication, Travels Through the Interior Parts of North America: 1766, 1767, 1768 (pp. 250-252), as a likely Dakota name. Carver stayed with the Naudowessie (Dakota) over a period of time; his expedition covered the Great Lakes region, including Wisconsin and Minnesota areas.
  • Henry David Thoreau sparked the Native American Moon names as well, referencing the Flower Moon and Carver when he wrote about Native Americans.


Alternative May Moon Names

May’s Moon names tend to speak to the arrival of spring and all that it entails! 

The Cree names Budding Moon and Leaf Budding Moon celebrate the awakening of local flora, which really begin to leaf out now in many areas. Similarly, Planting Moon (Dakota, Lakota) marks the time when seeds should be started for the farming season ahead. 

The activities of animals marked spring’s arrival, too, which is highlighted by the Cree names Egg Laying Moon and Frog Moon, as well as the Oglala term Moon of the Shedding Ponies. All three names indicate that warmer weather is on the way!

→ See all 12 months of full Moon names and meanings.

Moon Phases for May 2023

All dates and times are EDT. See our Moon Phase Calendar for times in your location.

May Moon Phase Dates and Times
Full Moon: May 5, 1:36 P.M. EDT
Last Quarter: May 12, 10:29 A.M. EDT
New Moon: May 19, 11:55 A.M. EDT
First Quarter: May 27, 11:23 A.M. EDT

→ When is the next full Moon? Find out in our Full Moon Dates chart.

Full Flower Moon Video

Each month, we will explain the traditional names of the full Moon along with some Moon facts. Click below to watch the video and learn about May’s Full Flower Moon.

Best Days in May 2023

Below are the best days for activities, based on the Moon’s sign and phase in May.

For Gardening:

  • Planting aboveground crops: 4, 22, 23
  • Planting belowground crops: 13, 14

For Setting Eggs:

  • 1, 2, 11, 12, 28–30

For Fishing:

  • 1–5, 19–31

See the Best Days for more activities.

Full Moon Folklore

  • Clothes washed for the first time in the Full Moon will not last long.
  • The Full Moon is an ideal time to accept a proposal of marriage.

Share your thoughts about the May Moon below!