April showers bring May flowers and no one deserves them more than Mom. People in well over 80 countries celebrate her in May. Flowers, chocolates, cards, or just a phone call… don’t forget her because no one loves you like your Mom does. Click on any event below to learn more about it.
- 1 May – International Workers’ Day – Worldwide
Also known as May Day or Labor Day, International Workers’ Day is a celebration of the working class around the world, when workers’ rights groups march or protest to raise awareness of their grievances. In the late 19th century, May 1st was chosen to commemorate the Haymarket Massacre which occurred in Chicago on May 4th, 1886. May Day is a holiday in many countries around the globe.
- 2 May – Early May Bank Holiday – United Kingdom
The first Monday of May is a bank holiday in the UK. Associated with May Day in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, it probably originated as a Roman festival honoring the beginning of the summer season in the northern hemisphere. More recently, it has been as a day to campaign for and celebrate workers’ rights.
- 3 May – Constitution Day – Poland
This day is a Polish holiday celebrating the declaration of the Constitution in 1791. Mostly ignored during the times of the People’s Republic of Poland, it was reestablished after the fall of communism. It is the most important civil holiday in Poland since it regained independence in 1918 and is as important to the Polish people as July 4th is to Americans.
- 4 May – Greenery Day – Japan
Also called “Japanese Arbor Day,” it is a time to commune with nature and to be thankful for blessings. A national holiday in Japan, Greenery Day grew out of the celebration of Emperor Shōwa’s birthday on April 29 during the Shōwa era.
- 5 May – Coronation Day – Thailand
Bhumibol Adulyadej was crowned Rama IX of Thailand on 5 May 1950, making him the ninth king of the Chakri dynasty. This national holiday actually takes place over three days beginning on the 3rd when Buddhist monks hold a service in the Grand Palace, followed the next day by the reading of the official proclamation of the coronation. The actual coronation ceremony takes place on the 5th, celebrated by a 21 gun salute at noon.
8 May – Mother’s Day – Various Countries
Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring the mother of the family, and in general, motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. More than 80 countries celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May, while Mexico and may parts of Latin America celebrate it on the 10th and France on the 29th.
8 May – Victory in Europe Day – Europe
V-E Day, or simply V Day, commemorates the formal acceptance by the Allies of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender, effectively ending World War II in Europe. When it does not fall on a Sunday, it is a national holiday in France (Fête de la victoire) as well as several other European countries.
12 May – Independence Day – Israel
Yom Ha’atzmaut is the national day of Israel commemorating the establishment of the State of Israel by future Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion on May 14th, 1948. An official ceremony held on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem includes a speech by the speaker of the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, artistic performances, and the ceremonial lighting of twelve torches, one for each of the Tribes of Israel.
15 May – Pentecost – Christians Worldwide
A Christian holy day celebrated fifty days after Easter Sunday, Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Jesus Christ. For this reason, Pentecost is considered by some Christians as the “Birthday of the Church.” The Monday following Pentecost Sunday is a public holiday in many European countries.
21 May – Vesak – Buddhists Worldwide
Although the exact date differs from country to country, Vesak commemorates the birth, enlightenment (nirvana), and death (Parinirvana) of Buddha, an ascetic and sage on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. Some ways of celebrating are through meditation, observing the Eight Precepts, partaking of vegetarian food, giving to charity, or “bathing” the Buddha.
23 May – Victoria Day – Canada
Victoria Day, celebrated on the last Monday before May 25 in honor of Queen Victoria’s birthday, is a federal statutory holiday, as well as a holiday in six of Canada’s ten provinces and all three of its territories. It has been observed since 1845.
25 May – First National Government – Argentina
The First National Government Day is a public holiday in Argentina that commemorates the May Revolution and the creation on that day in 1810 of the “Primera Junta,” considered today as the first independent government of Argentina.
30 May – Spring Bank Holiday – United Kingdom
Whit Monday, as it is also known, originally started as a bank holiday on the Monday after Pentecost. However, following a trial period that took place from 1965 to 1970, the Banking and Financial Dealings Act of 1971 moved it to the last Monday in May.
30 May – Memorial Day – United States
Set as a remembrance of the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces, Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end. Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day which celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans. It is a federal holiday in the United States.