Permeet: Events
Meetup Planner
Ultimate Event Planning Tool

Holidays in May:
Festivals and Holidays Around the World

May is a month full of diverse and significant holidays celebrated around the world. May offers a wide range of cultural, religious, and national holidays. These holidays are marked by various traditions, parades, and ceremonies. Discover the rich diversity of holidays in May and learn more about the history, customs, and significance behind each one.

May Day

Location: worldwide
Holiday: May Day
Date: May 1
Status: Civic holiday, international holiday
Purpose: To recognize the vital role of workers in society, and to promote fair and equitable labor practices and policies

History of the holiday: International Workers' Day has its origins in the labor movements of the late 19th century, which aimed to secure better working conditions, wages, and protections for workers. The holiday was first officially recognized by the Second International, a federation of socialist and labor parties, in 1891

Traditions and Symbols: May Day is celebrated in various ways around the world, depending on local traditions and political contexts. In many countries, it is marked by rallies, marches, and demonstrations organized by labor unions, socialist parties, and other progressive groups. These events often feature speeches, music, and the display of banners and flags representing workers' organizations. In some places, May Day is also associated with the crowning of a "May Queen" or the dancing of a "Maypole," both of which have roots in pre-Christian European pagan rituals

Teachers Day

Location: USA

Holiday: Teachers Day

Date: It is celebrated on the Tuesday of the first full week in May. In 2023, it will be celebrated on May 2nd
Status: National holiday, cultural holiday
Purpose: The purpose of Teacher's Day is to provide an opportunity to express gratitude for the hard work, dedication, and commitment of teachers to their profession

History of the holiday: The first National Teacher Day was celebrated in the United States in 1953. It was created by Eleanor Roosevelt, who believed that teachers deserved recognition for their contributions to education and society. In 1985, the date was moved to the Tuesday of the first full week in May to create National Teacher Appreciation Week, a week-long celebration of teachers and the teaching profession

Traditions and Symbols: Teacher's Day is typically celebrated by giving gifts, cards, and flowers to teachers as a way of expressing appreciation and gratitude. Schools may organize special events or activities to celebrate the day, such as assemblies or award ceremonies. Students may also prepare special performances or presentations to honor their teachers. Many businesses and organizations also offer discounts or special promotions to teachers during National Teacher Appreciation Week
Children's Day/Kodomo no Hi
Location: Japan
Holiday: Children's Day/Kodomo no Hi
Date: May 5
Status: National holiday
Purpose: to celebrate the happiness and well-being of children and wish for their healthy growth and protection

History of the festival: Children's Day/Kodomo no Hi has its roots in an ancient Chinese tradition called Tango no Sekku, which celebrated the beginning of the summer season and honored the growth and vitality of boys. In Japan, this holiday was expanded to include all children and reflect the country's aspirations for their well-being

Traditions and Symbols: On Children's Day, Japanese families often fly colorful carp-shaped windsocks (koinobori) in front of their homes to symbolize the strength and perseverance of their children. They also display other traditional decorations, such as samurai dolls and iris flowers. In some families, special foods such as rice cakes wrapped in bamboo leaves (kashiwamochi) or sweet rice dumplings (chimaki) are served as well
Vesak Day
Location: Many countries with significant Buddhist populations, including Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Indonesia
Holiday: Vesak Day
Date: May 4-5
Status: National holiday, religious holiday
Purpose: Celebrated in honor of the birth, enlightenment, and death of Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism

History of the festival: The holiday originated in ancient India, where it was celebrated as a day of religious significance. The exact origin of Vesak Day is unclear, but it is believed to have developed over time from various local customs and traditions.
The first Vesak Day was celebrated in 300 BCE during the reign of the Indian emperor Ashoka. Ashoka was a devout Buddhist who promoted the spread of Buddhism throughout Asia, and he declared Vesak Day a state holiday throughout his empire

Traditions and Symbols: Some traditions include visiting temples and holy places, lighting lanterns and candles, charitable acts, listening to sermons, fasting, and raising Buddhist flags. Buddhists use this day for contemplation of life and the teachings of Buddha, as well as for reaffirming their commitment to following the path of wisdom, compassion, and enlightenment during this festival
Mother's Day
Location: USA, Canada, Australia, countries in Europe and others
Holiday: Mother's Day
Date: May 14
Status: National holiday, cultural holiday
Purpose: remind people of the immense contribution of mothers to families and society and to express gratitude for all that mothers do

History of the festival: The modern Mother's Day holiday originated in the United States in the early 20th century. It was established by Anna Jarvis in honor of her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, who organized "Mother's Day Work Clubs" to improve sanitation and health conditions in the late 19th century. Anna Jarvis campaigned for Mother's Day to become a recognized holiday, and it was first celebrated as a national holiday in the United States in 1914. Since then, it has spread to many other countries around the world

Traditions and Symbols: Mother's Day is usually celebrated by giving gifts, cards, and flowers to mothers and mother figures. Families may also gather together to have a meal or spend time together. Other traditions may include breakfast in bed, special outings or activities, and taking time to express gratitude for all that mothers do
The Dragon Boat Festival
Location: China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia
Holiday: The Dragon Boat Festival
Date: May 28
Status: National holiday, cultural holiday
Purpose: The Dragon Boat Festival marks the beginning of the rice-planting season and the summer solstice. It is also a time to honor Qu Yuan, a famous poet and statesman who lived during the Warring States period in Chinese history

History of the festival: The origins of the Dragon Boat Festival date back to ancient China, where it was believed to have started as a way to ward off evil spirits and disease. The festival is also associated with the legend of Qu Yuan, a famous poet and statesman who lived during the Warring States period of Chinese history. Qu Yuan was exiled from his home state of Chu and later committed suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo River. Legend has it that local fishermen tried to save Qu Yuan by racing their boats to the spot where he had drowned and throwing rice dumplings into the river to distract the fish from eating his body

Traditions and Symbols: The Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated with dragon boat races, in which teams of rowers race dragon-shaped boats to the beat of drums. The festival is also marked by the consumption of zongzi, pyramid-shaped rice dumplings filled with different ingredients such as meat, beans, and egg yolks, which are wrapped in bamboo leaves and boiled. Other traditions may include hanging mugwort and calamus, wearing perfume pouches, and drinking realgar wine to ward off evil spirits. The festival is also a time for families to gather together and spend time with one another.
Cooper Hill Cheese Rolling Festival
Location: Gloucestershire, England
Holiday: Cooper Hill Cheese Rolling Festival
Date: May 29
Status: Cultural festival
Purpose: roll a large wheel of cheese down a steep hill and see who can catch it and reach the finish line first

History of the festival: The origin of the Cooper Hill Cheese Rolling Festival is unclear, but it is believed to have been held for hundreds of years. During the festival, a 9-pound wheel of Double Gloucester cheese is rolled down a steep slope, and participants chase after it, often falling and stumbling along the way. The first person to cross the finish line at the bottom of the hill wins the cheese. In 2010, the festival was officially cancelled due to safety concerns, but in recent years it has continued to be held unofficially

Traditions and Symbols: The main tradition of the Cooper Hill Cheese Rolling Festival is, of course, the cheese-rolling competition. Other traditions include wearing masquerade costumes by participants and spectators, as well as consuming local products and drinks such as cider and pies. Annually, this event attracts thousands of people and is a fun and unique celebration of local culture and traditions

The Cheung Chau Bun Festival

Location: Island of Cheung Chau in Hong Kong

Holiday: Cheung Chau Bun Festival

Date: begins on May 31

Status: religious festival, cultural festival

Purpose: to honor the gods and bring good luck to the community

History of the festival: The festival originated in the late 19th century when a plague epidemic broke out on the island. The residents of Cheung Chau believed that the epidemic was caused by evil spirits and decided to perform a series of rituals to expel them. One of the rituals involved building a tower covered with buns, which were believed to be able to absorb evil spirits. Bun scrambling competitions were added to the festival in the early 20th century and have since become the most famous and popular aspect of the festival

Traditions and Symbols: The Cheung Chau Bun Festival is marked by a number of traditions, including lion dances, dragon boat races, and a parade of colorful and elaborate floats. The main event is the bun scrambling competition, in which participants climb to the top of a 60-foot tower covered in buns to try to grab as many buns as possible. It is a test of strength, agility, and bravery, and attracts participants from all over Hong Kong and beyond. Other traditions include offering incense and food to the gods, as well as consuming traditional foods such as rice dumplings and sweet buns

Holiday Calendar: