12 Annually Observed Days in May

The beginning of each month, I enjoy looking up what holidays, celebrations, and observances are taking place in the U.S. and the rest of the world.  Face it, no matter where you live, it’s a multicultural world. Therefore, as part of nurturing our friendships at work and within the extended families and communities in which we live, it’s important to be sensitive, considerate, and aware of what other fun, religious, cultural days are being by people we know, and in so doing we are brought closer together.

There is a wonderful web site I view regularly to find out what special days are taking place each month. Do add this site to your favorites, to access regularly, as part of your continued education on global, cultural awareness. (Also at: https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/)

1.   14 May: Mother’s Day – Although mostly an American holiday (a few other countries have their own day), this is one day everyone can observe. If you have a mother, grandmother, aunt, or other special women in your life, whom may have played a special role in raising and supporting your development over the years, do honor the person. (Also at: https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/mothers-day)

2.   6 May:    National Nurses Day – I like this day because nurses—and caregivers—need to be honored for the important roles they play in a person’s recovery, no matter what the situation and wherever they are in the world (Also at: https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/national-nurses-day)
3.   29 May:  Memorial Day – Although this is a U.S. holiday to commemorate all men and women who died in military service for our country, and this is a day many countries have their own day, it is a reminder, we all should honor these brave men and women, with great reverence.  (Also at: https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/memorial-day)

4.  12 May Military Spouse Appreciation Day – I never knew until now there is a special day that honors spouses of those who serve in our military.  Our military spouses must often shoulder a great deal of sacrifice and stress, while their loved one is away serving our country.  So, if you know of anyone who is a spouse of someone in the military, do alert them to this day and wish them well… To me, it’s a similar holiday to Mothers and Fathers Days (Also at: https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/military-spouse-appreciation-day)

5.   5 May     Cinco de Mayo – In the U.S. and many parts of the world, this has become a great Mexican heritage celebration, which actually celebrates Mexico defeating the French army in 1862.  From a cultural perspective it is a fun day to learn more about the Mexican culture by attending their parades, street fairs, great food and drink, and other cultural displays.  When my husband and I lived in San Francisco, we often celebrated this day, by attending its annual parade and enjoyed great Mexican food and drink, the S.F. Mexican community would organize.  Look for one in your area and do attend.  (Also at: https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/cinco-de-mayo)

7.   2 May:    Yom Ha’atzmaut – Israel’s Independence Day … Also at: https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/yom-haatzmaut
8.     14 May           Lag BaOmer – Called the 33rd day as part of the “counting of the Omer” 50 days between Passover and Shavuot … Also at: https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/lag-b-omer
9.     31 May:          Shavuot – 2nd most important observance, focusing on historical and agricultural importance. Also at: https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/shavuot

10.   25 May:          Ascension Day – A religious day to honor Christ’s ascension to heaven – Also at: https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/ascension-day

11.   27 May Ramadan starts – An important time of fasting, prayer, and self-examination for Muslims, https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/ramadan-begins

12.  3 and 10 May – on the 3rd, Buddha’s Birthday in South Korea and Taiwan; on the 10th, Vesak (Buddha’s Birth, Enlightenment and Death, Theravada) in Indonesia, Tibet, and other places.  The biggest Buddhist holiday is celebrated in Korea, observed with grand parades and parties, as well as religious ceremonies.  It’s often a week-long festival that usually ends on the same day as Vesak in other parts of Asia.

Do take time to understand other cultures and their special holidays and observances, so you won’t put your foot in your mouth. Here’s a story I heard: A co-worker thought he was being a good friend to his co-worker by telling her there was black dirt on her forehead. He didn’t know she observed Ash Wednesday as the start of Lent, in the Western Catholic religion.

Happy Practicing!

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