May is a month of Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere and spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Therefore May in the Southern Hemisphere is the seasonal equivalent of November in the Northern Hemisphere and vice versa. No other month begins or ends on the same day of the week as May in any year. This month is the only month to have these two properties. However, May like all other months does share starting and ending days with various months of both previous and following years: every year, May starts and ends on the same day of the week as January of the following year.
Additionally, in years immediately before common years, May starts and ends on the same day of the week as October of the following year; it also ends on the same day of the week as February of the following year. In years immediately before leap years, May starts on the same day of the week as April of the following year; it also both starts and ends on the same day of the week as July of the following year.
In a common year, May both starts and ends on the same day of the week as August of the previous year; it also ends on the same day of the week as November of the previous year. In a leap year, May both starts and ends on the same day of the week as March of the previous year; it also starts on the same day of the week as November and ends on the same day of the week as June, both of the previous year. In a leap and a year immediately after that, May starts on the same day of the week as February of the previous year.
Late May typically marks the start of the summer vacation season in the United States and Canada and ends on Labor Day, first Monday of September.
- 1 History and origin
- 2 May symbols
- 3 May observances
- 4 See also
- 5 References
History and origin
The month May was named for the Greek goddess Maia, who was identified with the Roman era goddess of fertility, Bona Dea, whose festival was held in May. Conversely, the Roman poet Ovid provides a second etymology, in which he says that the month of May is named for the maiores, Latin for "elders," and that the following month (June) is named for the iuniores, or "young people" (Fasti VI.88).
Mayovka, in the context of the late Russian Empire, was a picnic in the countryside or in a park in the early days of May, hence the name. Eventually, "mayovka" (specifically, "proletarian mayovka") came to mean an illegal celebration of May 1 by revolutionary public, typically presented as an innocent picnic.
- May's birthstone is the emerald which is emblematic of love and success.
- The May birth flower is the Lily of the Valley and the Crataegus monogyna. It is native throughout the cool temperate Northern Hemisphere in Asia, Europe, and in the southern Appalachian Mountains in the United States, but has been naturalized throughout the temperate climactic world.
- The "mayflower" Epigaea repens is a North American harbinger of May, and the floral emblem of both Nova Scotia and Massachusetts. Its native range extends from Newfoundland south to Florida, west to Kentucky in the southern range, and to Northwest Territories in the north.
- The zodiac signs for the month of May are Taurus (until May 20) and Gemini (May 21 onwards).
- Season of Emancipation (April 14 to August 23) (Barbados)
- May is traditionally devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary in Roman Catholic traditions. See May devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
- National ALS Awareness Month (United States)
- Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
- Better Hearing and Speech Month 
- National Bike Month (United States)
- National Brain Tumor Awareness Month. (United States) 
- National Burger Month (United States) 
- Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month. 
- Celiac Awareness Month
- Community Action Awareness Month (North Dakota, United States)
- National Electrical Safety Month (United States) 
- Flores de Mayo (Philippines)
- National Foster Care Month (United States) 
- Garden for Wildlife month 
- National Golf Month (United States) 
- Haitian Heritage Month (United States)
- Hepatitis Awareness Month 
- Jewish American Heritage Month
- National Masturbation Month (United States)
- International Mediterranean Diet Month 
- Mental Health Awareness Month (United States)
- National Military Appreciation Month (United States) 
- National Mobility Awareness Month (United States, Canada)
- National Moving Month (United States)
- New Zealand Music Month (New Zealand)
- Older Americans Month (United States) 
- National Osteoporosis Month (United States) 
- National Pet Month (United Kingdom) 
- National Stroke Awareness Month (United States) 
- Skin Cancer Awareness Month 
- National Smile Month (United Kingdom)
- South Asian Heritage Month (International)
- National Water Safety Month (United States) 
- World Trade Month 
- Emergency Medical Services Week (United States) 2015 date: May 17-23 2016 date: May 15 - 21
- National Family Week (UK)
- Green Office Week (Britain): 2015 date: May 11-15.
- National Patriots' Day (Quebec), Monday on or before May 25. May 2015 date: May 18
- Victoria Day (Canada), Monday on or before May 25. 2015 date: May 18
- National Hurricane Preparedness Week (United States) 2015 date: May 24-30
- National Famine Commemoration Day (Ireland): 2015 date: June 20.
- Occupational Safety and Health Professional Day 2016 date: May 4.
- Phi Ta Khon (Dan Sai, Loei province, Isan, Thailand) Dates are selected by village mediums and can take place anywhere between March and July.
- Victoria Day (Scotland), last Monday before or on May 24. 2015 date: May 18. 2016 date: May 23.
- Walk Safely to School Day, 2015 date: May 22.
1st Week of May
- Moatsü, celebrated by the Ao people of Nagaland, India
- New Zealand Sign Language Week happens once every year in May, Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand organises NZSL Week with over 500 events happening in New Zealand to help promote the language as well as raise awareness about New Zealand’s Deaf community.
- National Forest Week (Canada)
2nd Week of May
- Bike Week (Bicycle Week) is a yearly international event that advocates the importance of bicycling as a means of transportation. Bike Week takes place during the second week of May or June and is typically an entire week of city-wide cycling supplemented with events.
- National Stuttering Awareness Week (United States)
3rd Week in May
- The League of American Bicyclists is promoting Bike-to-Work Week from May 14 to 18, 2012 and Bike-to-Work Day on Friday, May 18, 2012.
Last Week in May
- ALIA celebrates Library and Information week in May. Events are organised by libraries around Australia to encourage people to use their local libraries. Children's librarians hold a special event known as National Simultaneous Storytime, where public and school libraries read the same book, at 11 am EST, to children around Australia.
- International Headband Week runs from the Monday-Friday in the last week of May. People all around the world are encouraged to wear Headbands to work and other social events to promote character building and confidence in the workplace and other social environments.
- Arbor Week (Prince Edward Island, Canada)
Last Monday 2015 date: May 25
- Heroes' Day (Turks and Caicos Islands)
- Memorial Day (United States), a public holiday, is on May 30, but observed on the last Monday in May.
- Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna Day (Fiji), removed as a national holiday in 2010.
Last Thursday 2015 date: May 28
Saturday closest to May 30 2015 date: May 30
Last Weekend 2015 date: May 30-31
Last Sunday 2015 date: May 31
- Arbor Day (Venezuela)
- Children's Day (Hungary)
- Mother's Day (Algeria, Dominican Republic, France, Haiti, Mauritius, Morocco, Sweden, Tunisia)
First Sunday - 2016 date, May 1.
First Tuesday - 2016 date, May 3.
First Thursday - 2016 date, May 5.
- Most common day of the year for local and general elections in the United Kingdom
- Arbor Day (Nova Scotia, Canada)
- National Day of Prayer (United States)
- National Day of Reason (United States)
Friday preceding Mother's Day - 2016 date: May 6
First Saturday - 2016 date: May 7
- In Kentucky, United States, the Kentucky Derby
- Free Comic Book Day
- Green Up Day (Vermont, United States)
- World Naked Gardening Day
Second Weekend in May 2016 date: May 7-8
Second Saturday 2016 date: May 7
- International Migratory Bird Day (Canada, the United States, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean)
- National Tree Planting Day (Mongolia)
Second Sunday 2016 date: May 8
- National Nursing Home Week (United States)
- Children's Day (Spain)
- Father's Day (Romania)
- Mother's Day (Anguilla, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Bonaire, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Croatia, Curaçao, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Latvia, Malta, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Suriname, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zimbabwe)
- State Flag and State Emblem Day (Belarus)
- World Fair Trade Day
Third Saturday: 2016 date: May 14
- The Preakness Stakes is run, second jewel in the triple crown of horse racing.
- Culture Freedom Day
- Armed Forces Day (United States)
- World Whisky Day
- Sanja Matsuri (May 16-19)
Third Sunday 2016 date: May 15
Third Monday - 2016 date: May 16.
Third Thursday - 2015 date: May 21. 2016: May 19
Third Friday - 2016 date: May 20.
- Arbor Day (Prince Edward Island, Canada)
- Bike-to-Work Day
- National Defense Transportation Day
- National Defense Transportation Week is the week in which National Transportation Day falls.
- Endangered Species Day (United States)
- National Pizza Party Day (United States)
Easter date based
- Feast of the Ascension 2015 date: May 14 (Western Christianity), May 21 (Eastern Christianity)
- Nabi Musa (Friday preceding Good Friday on Eastern Orthodox calendar) 2016 date: April 22
- Lazarus Saturday (Eastern Christianity) 2016 date: April 23
- Palm Sunday 2016 date: March 20, (Western Christianity), April 24 (Eastern Christianity)
- World Youth Day (Roman Catholic), celebrated on Palm Sunday
- Holy Monday 2016 date: March 21, (Western Christianity), April 25 (Eastern Christianity)
- Holy Tuesday 2016 date: March 22, (Western Christianity), April 26 (Eastern Christianity)
- Holy Wednesday 2016 date: March 23 (Western Christianity), April 27 (Eastern Christianity)
- Maundy Thursday 2016 date: March 24 (Western Christianity), April 28, (Eastern Christianity)
- Good Friday 2016 date: March 25 (Western Christianity), April 29 (Eastern Christianity)
- Holy Saturday 2016 date: March 26 (Western Christianity), April 30, (Eastern Christianity)
- Święconka, Polish regional variant of Holy Saturday
- Easter/Pascha, 2016 date: March 27 (Western Christianity), May 1 (Eastern Christianity)
- Easter Monday/Bright Monday, 2016 date: March 28 (Western Christianity), May 2 (Eastern Christianity)
- Śmigus-Dyngus, regional variant of Easter Monday (Poland, Ukraine)
- Easter Tuesday/Bright Tuesday, 2016 date: March 29 (Western Christianity), May 3 (Eastern Christianity) Public holiday in Tasmania.
- Bright Wednesday, May 4 (Eastern Christianity)
- Bright Thursday, May 5 (Eastern Christianity)
- Easter Friday/Bright Friday, 2016 date: April 1 (Western Christianity), May 6 (Eastern Christianity)
- Easter Saturday/Bright Saturday, 2016 date: April 2 (Western Christianity), May 7 (Eastern Christianity)
- Thomas Sunday 2016 date: May 8 (Eastern Christianity)
- Store Bededag, celebrated the fourth Friday after Easter in Denmark. 2016 date: April 22.
- Radonitsa (Russian Orthodox), celebrated second Tuesday of Pascha (Easter) or on the second Monday of Pascha, depending on region. 2016 date: May 10 or May 9.
- Sunday of the Myrrhbearers (Eastern Christianity) Celebrated the third Sunday of Pascha. 2016 date: May 15
- Whit Monday 2015 date: May 25 (Western Christianity), June 1 (Eastern Christianity). 2016 date: May 16 (Western Christianity) June 20 (Eastern Christianity)
- Sunday of the Paralytic (Eastern Christianity) Celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Pascha. 2016 date: May 22.
- Mid-Pentecost (Eastern Christianity), Celebrated Wednesday after the Sunday of the Paralytic. 2016 date: May 25.
- Sunday of the Samaritan Woman (Eastern Christianity), Celebrated on the fifth Sunday of Pascha. 2016 date: May 29.
- Feast of the Sacred Heart (Roman Catholic). 2015 date: June 12.
Fixed Observances on non-Gregorian Calendars
- Jerusalem Day (Israel). Not a Jewish religious holiday, but the date is set by the Jewish calendar. 2015 date: May 17
- Savitri Brata (Hinduism). 2015 date: May 17.
- Shavuot (Judaism). 2015 date: Sunset May 23 - Nightfall May 25.
- Vesak (Buddhism). Date varies depending on regional calendar. The United Nations recognizes June 1 as the 2015 date.
- Akshaya Tritiya (Jainism). May be in April or May. 2016 date: May 9.
- Buddha's Birthday (Buddhism). May be in April or May. 2016 date: May 14. Exact date varies from region to region.
- Counting of the Omer (Judaism). May be in April, May or June. 2016 date: April 23-June 11.
- Isru chag (Judaism). 2016 date: May 1.
- Lag BaOmer (Judaism). 2016 date: May 26.
- Pesach Sheni (Judaism). 2016 date: May 16.
- Ridván (Bahai) 2016 date: April 21 - May 2
- Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) 2016 date: May 16.
- Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) 2016 date: May 5
- Yom Hazikaron (Israeli Memorial Day) 2016 date: May 11.
Fixed Observances in May
- April 28 to May 3: Floralia (Ancient Rome)
- April 29 to May 5 in Japan, which includes four different holidays, is called "Golden Week". Many workers have up to 10 days off. There is also 'May sickness', where new students or workers start to be tired of their new routine. (In Japan the school year and fiscal year start on April 1.)
- May 1
- Armed Forces Day (Mauritania)
- Constitution Day (Argentina
- Lei Day in Hawai`i. The custom is to wear a lei throughout the day.
- Beltane (Bealtaine) on the Irish calendar, the first day of Summer, and a public holiday is held on the first Monday in May. It is also a neopagan holiday.
- May Day in many countries. This is also celebrated as Labour Day in many countries.
- May 1 is May Day in the United Kingdom, however the public holiday is held on the first Monday in May.
- May 2
- May 3
- May 4
- Remembrance of the Dead in the Netherlands, commemorating all the casualties in military conflicts involving the Netherlands.
- Liberation Day in Denmark, celebrating the ending of the German occupation from April 9, 1940, to May 4, 1945.
- Anti-Bullying Day (United Nations)
- Bird Day (United States)
- Cassinga Day (Namibia)
- Day of the adoption of the Declaration of independence (Latvia)
- Death of Milan Rastislav Štefánik Day (Slovakia)
- Greenery Day (Japan)
- International Firefighters' Day
- Remembrance Day for Martyrs and Disabled (Afghanistan)
- Remembrance of the Dead (Netherlands)
- Star Wars Day
- Youth Day (Fiji)
- May Fourth Movement commemorations:
- May 5
- Children's Day (Japan, Korea)
- Cinco de Mayo
- Constitution Day (Kyrgyzstan)
- Coronation Day (Thailand)
- Europe Day in Europe (uncommon usage, largely replaced by May 9).
- Feast of al-Khadr or Saint George (Palestinian)
- Indian Arrival Day (Guyana)
- International Midwives' Day
- Liberation Day (Denmark)
- Liberation Day (Netherlands)
- Lusophone Culture Day (Community of Portuguese Language Countries)
- Martyrs' Day (Albania)
- Patriots' Victory Day (Ethiopia)
- Senior Citizens Day (Palau)
- Tango no sekku (Japan)
- May 6
- Martyrs' Day (Gabon)
- Martyrs' Day (Lebanon and Syria)
- International No Diet Day
- Teachers' Day (Jamaica)
- The first day of Hıdırellez (Turkey)
- St George's Day related observances (Eastern Orthodox Church):
- May 7
- May 8
- Miguel Hidalgo's birthday (Mexico)
- Parents' Day (South Korea)
- Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War, continues to May 9
- Truman Day (Missouri)
- White Lotus Day (Theosophy)
- World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day
- VE Day in Western Europe. In Eastern Europe it is celebrated on May 9.
- May 9
- Anniversary of Dianetics (Church of Scientology)
- Europe Day, commemorating the Schuman Declaration. (European Union)
- Liberation Day (Guernsey)
- Liberation Day (Jersey), commemorating the end of the German occupation of the Channel Islands during World War II.
- First day of the Feast of the Lemures. (Roman Empire)
- Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War, continued from May 8.
- Victory Day observances, celebration of the Soviet Union victory over Nazi Germany (Soviet Union, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan)
- Victory Day over Nazism in World War II (Ukraine)
- Victory and Peace Day (Armenia) marks both the capture of Shusha (1992) in the Nagorno-Karabakh War, and the end of World War II.
- Veterans Day (Norway)
- May 10
- Children's Day (Maldives)
- Confederate Memorial Day (North Carolina and South Carolina)
- Constitution Day (Federated States of Micronesia)
- Golden Spike Day (1869 – Completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad – Promontory Summit, Utah)
- Independence Day (Romania), celebrating the declaration of independence of Romania from the Ottoman Empire in 1877.
- May 11
- Second day of the Feast of the Lemures. (Roman Empire)
- Nisga'a Day, celebration of the effective date of the Nisga'a Final Agreement. (Nisga'a Nation)
- Rosalia (College of Aesculapius and Hygia, Roman Empire)
- National Technology Day (India)
- Statehood Day (Minnesota)
- Vietnam Human Rights Day (Vietnam)
- May 12
- May 13
- May 14
- May 15
- Beginning of Tourette Syndrome awareness month. It ends on June 15
- Argei (Ancient Rome)
- Army Day (Slovenia)
- Constituent Assembly Day (Lithuania)
- Independence Day (Paraguay)
- International Day of Families
- Mercuralia (Ancient Rome)
- Nakba Day (Palestinian communities)
- Peace Officers Memorial Day (United States)
- Saint Ubaldo Day
- Teachers' Day (Mexico and South Korea)
- May 16
- May 17
- National Day Against Homophobia (Canada)
- International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia aka IDAHO
- Birthday of the Raja (Perlis)
- Children's Day (Norway)
- Constitution Day (Nauru)
- Galician Literature Day (Galicia)
- World Hypertension Day
- World Information Society Day
- Liberation Day (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
- Navy Day (Argentina)
- Norwegian Constitution Day
- May 18
- Baltic Fleet Day (Russia)
- Battle of Las Piedras Day (Uruguay)
- Flag and Universities Day (Haiti)
- Independence Day (Somaliland) (unrecognized))
- International Museum Day (International)
- Mullivaikkal Remembrance Day (Sri Lankan Tamils)
- Revival, Unity, and Poetry of Magtymguly Day (Turkmenistan)
- Victoria Day (Canada)
- Victory Day (Sri Lanka)
- World AIDS Vaccine Day (International)
- May 19
- May 20
- May 21
- Afro-Colombian Day (Colombia)
- Agonalia (Roman Empire)
- Circassian Day of Mourning (Circassians)
- Day of Patriots and Military (Hungary)
- Navy Day (Chile)
- Saint Helena Day, celebrates the discovery of Saint Helena in 1502.
- World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development (International)
- One of the three festivals of Vejovis (Roman Empire)
- May 22
- Abolition Day (Martinique)
- Harvey Milk Day (California)
- International Day for Biological Diversity (International)
- National Maritime Day (United States)
- National Sovereignty Day (Haiti)
- Republic Day (Sri Lanka)
- Translation of the Relics of Saint Nicholas from Myra to Bari (Ukraine)
- Unity Day (Yemen)
- World Goth Day
- May 23
- May 24
- May 25
- May 25 is the May Revolution (or Revolución de Mayo), a national holiday in Argentina.
- May 25 is Towel Day, in tribute to Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
- May 26 is Independence Day , a national holiday in Guyana.
- May 27
- May 28
- May 29
- May 30
- May 31
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- State History Guide
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- McGuire, Holly; Keil, Kathryn (2010). Chase's 2010 Calendar of Events. McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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- "Ceremony at "Wedding of the Rails," May 10, 1869 at Promontory Point, Utah". World Digital Library. 1869-05-10. Retrieved 2013-07-20.