May is the fifth month of the year and the end of spring. The weather is usually warm and the evenings are light. A lot of trees have flowers on them, called blossom, and gardeners are busy in their gardens because everything grows quickly in this month. Birds can be seen collecting food for their babies and you might see young animals in the fields such as foals (baby horses) and calves (baby cows).
The first day of May is known as May Day, although nowadays this is celebrated on the first Monday of May. For most people, it’s just a national holiday and they can enjoy having a long weekend. In some places, especially villages, there are still some traditional May Day celebrations. The best known is maypole dancing. A maypole is a tall wooden pole which has ribbons attached to the top. The dancers, often children, each take a ribbon and dance around the pole and this causes the ribbons to make woven patterns around the pole. In some places a girl is chosen to be the May Queen. She wears a white dress and wears a crown made of flowers. There might also be other types of dancing and traditional music.
The last Monday in May is also a holiday, called the Spring Bank Holiday. It used to be related to the church calendar but isn’t any more. It’s another long weekend for most people and the start of the half-term holiday for schools. In England, the school year is divided into three terms and there is a one-week break in the middle of each one, called half-term.
May 4th is known to science fiction fans as Star Wars Day! This is because the date, “May the fourth” sounds like a famous line from the films, “May the Force be with you!” People who love Star Wars greet each other on this day, saying, “May the Fourth be with you!”
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