May Full Moon 2024: How to see the Flower Moon and how it got its name

The May full moon is called the Flower Moon.The May full moon is called the Flower Moon.
The May full moon is called the Flower Moon. | Canva/Getty Images
Want to see the next full moon of 2024? We have all the details you need.

It's a sight that has inspired mythssuperstitions and awe through the centuries - when the night sky is lit up by the seemingly-perfect glowing sphere of a full moon.

We experience one full moon every month, with each one given a different evocative name.

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Here's how to see the fifth one of 2024 - the fragrant-sounding Flower Moon.

What is a full moon?

A full moon is when moon appears as a complete circle in the sky. The moon produces no light of its own, so this only happens when the moon is on the opposite side of the Earth to the Sun - meaning the whole of the near side of the moon is fully lit up.

When is the Flower Moon in 2024?

The next full moon or ‘Flower Moon’ will reach its peak on Thursday, May 23, at 1.53pm. This time only applies to the UK however as when the full moon rises and sets depends on where you are on the planet. Although when it peaks it will be daylight you'll still be able to see the (almost imperceptibly less) full moon at night - should the cloud stay away.

What is a Flower Moon?

The Flower Moon was so-called by Native Americans due to May being the time when flowers started to bloom in the warmer weather. For a similar reason, the May full moon is also known as the Budding Moon and the Seed Moon.

Why do full moons have different names?

Full moon names are often attributed to Native American tribes that would give full moons nicknames to keep track of them as they didn’t record time using months found in the Julian or Gregorian calendar. Most of the names were linked to a specific event, for example this wolf moon is associated with the presence of howling wolves nearby their camps at this time.

Other moons like the blood moon were thought to be caused by Jaguars who attacked the moon and left it bleeding hence the red colour. These lunar systems and their names differed between tribes but it seems Colonial Americans adopted some of these names and incorporated them into their own calendar systems - their use then spread to other countries, including the United Kingdom.

When are the other full moons of 2024?

Here’s a full list of the remaining full moons in 2024:

June 22 - ‘Strawberry Moon’

July 21 - ‘Buck Moon’

August 19 - ‘Sturgeon Moon’ (also a seasonal Blue Moon)

September 18 - ‘Harvest Moon’ (also a Supermoon)

October 17 - ‘Hunter’s Moon’

November 15 - ‘Beaver Moon’

December 15 - ‘Cold Moon’

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