There is something special about the merry, merry month of May. If you think it’s all about Mother’s Day and the end of a long stretch without a day off at Memorial Day, think again. May is chock full of holidays and observances, with a number being military related.
While many of those serve an appreciable purpose, there are a number of other days and weeks that few people are likely to be aware of. So pull out your best clothes and prepare to party your way through May.
Not only does every single week have any number of themes and observances, literally every single day has multiple causes and observances attached to it as well.
Starting out with the weeks, the first week of May is National Raisin Week. Yep, it’s not just for cereal or for the kid’s lunch box anymore; the little dried grape has its own week.
On a more serious note, it’s also National Alcohol and Drug Related Birth Defects Awareness Week, National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week, International Building Safety Week (which appears to be morphing into a month-long event) and is an international week dedicated to a part of the female genitalia (the fourth annual, which is actually serious in that it focuses on raising awareness about the effects of female genital mutilation, a horrific custom still practiced in parts of the world).
It is also National Children’s Book Week, Be Kind to Animals Week, which apparently is held concurrently and without conflict with National Pet Week and National Arson Awareness Week. It is also Puppy Mill Action Week.
There are at least a dozen more things going on in the first week but, for planning purposes, we’ll skip to a few things happening in the second week, which, while no slouch of a week, appears to offer a bit of respite from the jam-packed first week.
The second week kicks off with Food Allergy Awareness Week, now in its 16th year and dedicated to an estimated 15 million Americans who suffer from food allergies. That seems to be well-timed with the already running National Nurses Week. It is also National Police Week, which stems from a 1962 proclamation signed by President Kennedy marking May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day.
It is also National Return to Work Week, which has its founding roots in Florida and is serious of purpose, and, appropriately enough, comes on the heels of this year’s National Travel and Tourism Week.
The second week of May also includes World Cocktail Week (which includes the opportunity to license your cocktail event as an official WCW event for $25) and that, perhaps appropriately, perhaps not so much, leads us into week three, which kicks off with American Craft Beer Week.
Unfortunately, for some that is a holiday which cannot be celebrated with exuberance as it is also National Medical Transcriptionist Week, presumably an occupation requiring a sober and high-level attention to detail. That week was signed into existence by President Reagan.
On the serendipitous side, the third week is also National Old Friends, New Friends Week. And while you are sipping a craft beer, catching up with old friends and making new, raise a toast to World Trade Week, celebrated each third week of May. Fortunately, for those imbibing, along with the rest of us, it is also National Bike Week.
Finally, on the heels of the month’s second week animal memes, the third week is National Dog Bite Prevention Week.
And just for the record, it is also International Pickles Week. At least, it might be.
With Memorial Day as the anchor (which, this year, is technically in the fifth week of May), the last week tends towards the more somber and serious but includes the United Nations-sanctioned Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories. It is also National Safe Boating Week (www.safeboatingcampaign.com) and encompasses the national Click It or Ticket seat-belt-enforcement-awareness period.
Literally every single day in May observes or recognizes something, ranging from mirth to merry to resolute and remembrance.
May 1 is not just May Day, it is also Global Love Day, International Worker’s Day, Loyalty Day, National Chocolate Parfait Day, Save the Rhino Day, National Purebred Dog Day and World Laughter Day.
Appropriately, for a month that ends with Memorial Day, May 1 is also Silver Star Service Banner Day, honoring combat-wounded, ill and dying veterans.
Each day has at least a half dozen causes or events, ranging from Childhood Depression Awareness Day (May 3), Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you), National Bike to School Day, National Bike to Work Day, Motorcycle Mass and Blessing of the Bikes Day, Cinco de Mayo, Orthodox Easter Monday and Ascension Day.
May also includes Armed Forces Day, National Defense Transportation Day, National Explosive Ordnance Disposal Day, President Truman’s birthday, Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel independence day) and Pentecost.
May also hosts National Maritime Day, the National Day of Prayer, Emergency Medical Services for Children Day and National Missing Children’s Day.
With more than 200 holidays and observances, the coming month is unquestionably a busy one, but while organizing your calendar, please don’t forget Mom (Mother’s Day, May 8), Police and law enforcement officers (May 15) and our veterans on Memorial Day (May 30).
And with that, feel free to dance your way into the new month. National Dance Week ends on May 1.