May 1st May Day
May Day marks the halfway point between the first day of spring and the summer solstice. May Day dates back to the days of the Romans and involved many pagan rituals and ancient customs which were slowly phased out with the arrival of Christianity. Festivals, dances, and rituals related to agriculture and fertility were practiced by many Germanic and European countries. May Day also commemorates the struggle for fair labor practices and the Haymarket Affair of 1886. It is observed on May 1st each year.
May 3 World Press Freedom Day
World Press Freedom Day acts as a reminder of the importance of a free press in a functioning and safe society. World Press Freedom Day was first organized by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 in an effort to reflect upon press freedom in the world. Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right as stated in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.The day marks the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek, which is a statement of press freedom principles put together by African journalists in 1991 to promote an independent and pluralistic African press.
In a time when media coverage is riddled with fear-mongering, sensationalism, and overt bias, taking the time to appreciate and seek out journalism with integrity has never been more important. This day also serves to commemorate the journalists who have lost their lives in support of free press. UNESCO confers the Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize to a deserving individual, organization or institution in the field. The prize is named after Guillermo Cano Isaza, a Colombian journalist who was assassinated outside his newspaper in 1986 having offended powerful drug lord
Freedom of the Press, if it means anything at all, means the freedom to criticize and oppose . – George Orwell, writer.
May 5 Cinco De Mayo
Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of the Mexican Army’s victory over France during the Franco-Mexican War. During Mexico’s war with France, the US was engaged in its Civil War. Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Mexican victory at the Battle of Puebla. This battle was a significant turning point for the US as well. The French were US Confederate Army supporters. During the Battle of Puebla, their attention became so focused on the battle with Mexico that the US Union Army forces were able to advance and gain significant ground. It is considered a minor holiday inside Mexico however, in the US, Cinco de Mayo not only celebrates the victory at the Battle of Puebla, but also serves as a celebration of the culture and heritage of the Mexican people.
Cinco de Mayo has come to represent a celebration of the contributions that Mexican Americans and all Hispanics have made to America. – Joe Baca, California Congressman
May 5 Ramadan Begins
Ramadan (Arabic: رمضان ) is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, during which, for a period of thirty days, Muslims abstain from eating, and drinking from sunrise to sunset. This obserance during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, and obligatory for everyone. Muslims should also abstain from all bad deeds and habits, like smoking, swearing, backbiting, and disrespectfulness and spend time reflecting upon themselves, their religion, and the characteristics of God. Fasting and abstaining from bad habits is meant to teach self control, humility, and generosity. Ramadan is a time for charity, family, and good deeds.
.The month of Ramadan begins when the new moon of Ramadan is sighted and ends when the new moon of Sha’ban is sighted. The fast is usually broken in a family setting, where traditional foods are served. Most Muslims begin their meal with a few dates and a glass of milk because the Prophet Muhammad used to do the same. The high sugar content of the dates sends energy to weary fasting Muslim, while the fiber in the dates and the protein in the milk fills them up and prevents nausea.
O who believe, fasting is decreed for you as it was decreed for those before you; perchance you will guard yourselves (Quran, 2:183)
May 12 Mother’s Day
The modern holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. St Andrew’s Methodist Church now holds the International Mother’s Day Shrine. Her campaign to make Mother’s Day a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Ann Jarvis had been a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War, and created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues. Anna Jarvis wanted to honor her mother by continuing the work she started and to set aside a day to honor all mothers because she believed a mother is “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world”.
May 18 Armed Forces Day
Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May. Thanks to President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a holiday in order for citizens to unite and to honor military heroes for their patriotic service. Although, originally, there were single day celebrations for each branch of the military, the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force; this format changed on August 21, 1949, when Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of Armed Forces Day. Stemming from the unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense, the annual celebration now commemorates all branches of the military during one solitary day.
The first official Armed Forces Day took place on May 20, 1950, and was themed “Teamed for Defense.” In honor of the special day, B-36 Bombers flew over state capitals, a march was led by more than 10,000 veterans and troops in Washington, D.C., and over 33,000 people participated in a New York City parade.
Interestingly, Armed Forces days are not just limited to the United States. Although held on other dates, countries who honor their military include Armenia, Australia and New Zealand, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Burma, Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Guatemala, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Lebanon, Mali, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, North Korea, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Venezuela, and Vietnam.
May 27 Memorial Day
Memorial Day (or Decoration Day) is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering and honoring persons who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The holiday, which is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May, was most recently held on May 28, 2018. Memorial Day was previously observed on May 30 from 1868 to 1970.
Memorial Day is considered the unofficial start of the summer vacation season in the United States. In Canada, Victoria Day is a public holiday observed on a Monday one week before Memorial Day and similarly indicates the start of summer. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day, particularly to honor those who died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.
May 31 World No Tobacco Day
In 1987, the World Health Organization established World No Tobacco Day in an effort to draw attention to the risks of tobacco use and move towards safer and better public health for all. Since then, World No Tobacco Day has evolved into an important annual event that generates awareness for other tobacco related issues such as illegal trade, secondhand smoke and tobacco control.
World No Tobacco Day serves to generate awareness about the health risks of tobacco use and to advocate for more effective policies that can help reduce worldwide tobacco use. Tobacco, a brown product prepared by curing the leaves of a tobacco plant, is believed to have originated thousands of years ago somewhere in the Americas. It was later discovered by Christopher Columbus and subsequently introduced to the rest of the world. Tobacco contains the alkaline nicotine, a stimulant which makes tobacco very addictive. Tobacco use is known to cause a myriad of cancers and according to the World Health Organization, is the largest preventable cause of death and disease today.
Smoking is a classy way to commit suicide – Kurt Vonnegut – American author