On Saturday, May 18th, the Full Blue Flower Moon will illuminate our gardens. Blue flower? you ask. Are we talking hydrangea? Cornflower? Grape hyacinth? Technically, the name “Blue Flower Moon” isn’t actually in reference to any blue flowers. But, hey—that doesn’t mean you can’t assemble a bouquet of blue flowers in celebration.
May’s full moon is called the Flower Moon, dubbed such by the Algonquin Native Americans. According to Almanac.com, different tribes gave different names to the full moon each month to help keep track of time and seasonal changes. So the Flower Moon signifies a time when flowers begin to bloom in warming temperatures.
Other tribes and settlers across the U.S. called May’s full moon the Full Mother’s Moon, Full Milk Moon, and the Full Corn Planting Moon. Each name reflects the fertility of this time of year for both flora and fauna.
May 2019’s full moon is a Blue Flower Moon because it’s the third full moon to occur within the spring season. A blue moon is commonly defined as the second full moon to occur during a single month, however, traditionally, farmers also named the third of four moons in a single season “blue.”
Because March’s full moon occurred on the same day as the Vernal Equinox, and June’s full moon occurs just before the Summer Solstice, the spring season is packed with four full moons, which, according to EarthSky.com, only happens about seven times every 19 years. Unfortunately, a large illuminated hydrangea won’t linger in the night’s sky come May 18th. But, if you use your imagination, you can make it happen. Or, you know, work some Photoshop magic or something.
The Blue Flower Moon will peak at 5:11 p.m. EST on the 18th, which means many of us here in the U.S. won’t actually be able to see it while at its fullest and brightest; sunset on the East Coast doesn’t happen until 8:02 p.m. However, the moon will stay round and full throughout the night. When darkness does eventually set in, the full moon will be there to greet you (if the clouds don’t mask it, that is).
If flowers have begun to bloom in your flower bed, pick a few to put on your table to celebrate the Blue Flower Moon. This moon is a great sign of more budding to come.