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17 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate in May

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If you remember nothing else from this article, remember that Mother's Day is Sunday, May 12. Go ahead and buy the card now. Once that’s taken care of, here are 17 much wackier holidays to keep it fun this month.

1. May 1: Loyalty Day

A lovely relic of our best years in the U.S.—the McCarthy Era. As communism gained popularity worldwide during the 1920s, the holiday of Labour Day, or May Day, on May 1st became closely tied to it. To combat the threat of the proletariat, it was proposed May 1st could also be a holiday for Americans to reaffirm their commitment to their homeland. Congress made it official in 1958, and former President Eisenhower made it formal by decreeing May 1st, 1959 an official holiday. It has since been honored annually by every subsequent President.

2. May 2: Scurvy Awareness Day

The preferred disease of pirates has its own international holiday, and an entire website to boot! Steer your ships over to Limestrong for citrusy cocktails, curvy-not-scurvy pin-ups, and drop some (citric) acid into your bloodstream!

3. May 3: Hug Your Cat Day

Not to be confused with Hug Somebody Else’s Cat Day. (Some celebrate Hug Your Cat Day on June 4th. Feel free to celebrate both.)

4. May 4: Star Wars Day

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May the fourth be with you. (And don't forget to pick up some Star Wars goodies to celebrate properly.)

5. May 5: Cinco de Mayo

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For many in the US, the 5th of May in Spanish justifies a 5th shot of tequila. Cinco de Mayo actually holds its roots in the Mexican state of Puebla. It commemorates the Mexican army defeating the better-equipped French army occupying their land at the time. As far as the addition of excessive drinking as part of the holiday, all signs point to America as the culprit.

6. May 6: National Nurses Day

National Nurses Day kicks off National Nurses Week which concludes on the O.G. nurse Florence Nightingale’s birthday. According to the reliable sources at Hallmark, there are currently 3.1 million registered nurses in the United States. Hallmark also alleges to be the first card company to invent, errr publish, National Nurses Day cards (in 1992). They now offer more than 20 different options, for males and females. At least they practice equality with their fake holidays, we’ll drink to that!

7. May 9: National Lost Sock Memorial Day

Today we honor the past, and we let go. It’s time to admit that one red argyle sock has gone to washing machine heaven. Time to turn the partner it left behind into a rag or a sock puppet, and buy a new pair. It’s what it would have wanted.

8. May 10: Clean Up Your Room Day

Also known as every child's least favorite day of the year, right behind Eat Your Brussels Sprouts Day and Do Your Homework Week. For the adults, this is a seasonal invitation to finally tackle that whole spring-cleaning thing—and torture your kids just a little.

9. May 11: National Twilight Zone Day

“There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and on the eleventh of May, plan on confronting the pit of your fears and the summit of your knowledge.” Today you must honor your parallel realities and dive deep into the dimension of imagination, known as the Twilight Zone.

10. May 13: Frog Jumping Day

One of Mark Twain’s first short stories introduced the image of the “jumping frog” into the collective consciousness of America. How this ties to this specific date is unclear, but do you really need a clear reason to jump around like a frog?

11. May 14: National Dance Like a Chicken Day

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Call up your local oom pah band, because today we Vogeltanz until we drop. Gather all the Arrested Development fanatics you know and start a round of your worst chicken impersonations. Or introduce your own interpretation of how the flightless bird might tango. All of the above suffice as celebrations, as long as your moves are fowl.

12. May 17: National Pack Rat Day

There’s a fine line between holding on to nostalgia, and being a serious contendor for an episode of Hoarders. But just for a day, you are permitted to openly cherish the growing stack of Signals catalogs piling up in your basement sans any judgment of concerned family and friends. Who knows? Maybe your Beanie Babies will become collectibles again, and the joke will be on us.

13. May 22: National Buy a Musical Instrument Day

Treat yourself to that baby grand you’ve always wanted. Don’t know how to play guitar? No problem! On this day in May, buy now, learn later!

14. May 23: Lucky Penny Day

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Keep your eyes glued to the ground, because the cards are stacked in your favor that today is your lucky one! Just make sure you see the face of Abraham Lincoln staring back at you, before you pick the penny up.

15. May 26: Sally Ride Day

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As the first American woman in space, Dr. Sally Ride rightfully earned a full day dedicated to her honor. Remember when space was a thing?

16. May 29: End of Middle Ages Day

Barkeep, we’ll have a pint of your finest grog! Today in 1453, the official Middle Ages ended—allegedly. The conclusion of one era ushered in the Renaissance, and other subsequent influential periods in European history. You gave us Arthurian lore, you gave us a plague of Bubonic proportions, and you gave us Game of Thrones. For that— mostly the last part—we thank you.

17. May 30: My Bucket’s Got a Hole in It Day

Somewhat inspired by a folk song of the same name, My Bucket’s Got a Hole in it Day, or MBGHD, does not dictate any formal observational traditions. We suggest putting a positive spin on a crisis, and taking the day to reflect on how things could be worse. Unless, of course, you’re a bucket.

All images via Thinkstock unless otherwise noted.

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7 Surprising Uses for Tequila
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Happy National Margarita Day! While you could celebrate by having a few drinks, you could also skip the hangover by unlocking one of tequila's amazing abilities outside of the glass. Many spirits are useful for activities beyond sipping (vodka, for example, is a great stain and odor remover), but tequila holds some particularly magical powers. Here are just a few of them.

1. SYNTHETIC BAUBLE

In 2008, a team of scientists in Mexico discovered that when the heated vapor from an 80-proof tequila blanco was combined with a silicon or stainless steel substrate, it resulted in the formation of diamond films. These films can be used in commercial applications, such as electrical insulators, or to create one big fake diamond. Who knew that spending $50 on a bottle of Don Julio was such a wise investment?

2. ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCE

Keeping with the science theme: In 2011, researchers at England’s University of Oxford suggested that we may one day be gassing up our cars with tequila. They identified agave, the plant from which tequila is produced, as a potential biofuel source—and a particularly attractive one, as the plant itself is not consumed by humans and can thrive in desert climates.

3. WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENT

Scientists have long promoted the potential benefits of the agave plant for its ability to help dissolve fats and lower cholesterol. The bad news? These properties get a bit diluted when the plant is distilled into alcohol. Even more so when it's whipped into a sugary margarita.

4. SLEEP AID

Take three or more shots of tequila and you’re bound to pass out. A single shot can have the same effect—just not in that drunken stupor kind of way. Relaxation is one of the positive side effects of tequila drinking; a small amount (1 to 1.5 ounces) before bedtime can reportedly help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.

5. COLON CLEANSER

Too much of a good thing may not bring a welcome turn of events for your liver … but your colon will thank you! Researchers at Mexico’s University of Guadalajara have identified the blue agave as a potentially helpful source for delivering drugs to the colon in order to treat colitis, IBS, Crohn’s disease and even cancer.

6. DIABETES PREVENTATIVE

If Ernest Hemingway had known about the healing properties of tequila, his signature drink might have been a margarita instead of a daiquiri. In 2010, experiments conducted at Mexico’s Polytechnic Institute of Guanajuato revealed that the agave plant (which is high in fructans, a fructose polymer) could stimulate the GLP-1 hormone, aiding in increased insulin production.

7. COLD REMEDY

“Plenty of liquids” is a well-known remedy for getting oneself out from under the weather. But expanding that definition to include a kicked-up shot of tequila makes a day laid out on the couch sound much more appealing. In the 1930s, doctors in Mexico recommended the following concoction to fight off a cold.

.5 ounce of tequila blanco
.5 ounce of agave nectar (to eliminate bacteria and soothe sore throats)
.5 ounce of fresh lime juice (for Vitamin C)

Though some people (including tequila companies) swear by its healing powers, others say it's hogwash.

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Big Questions
Where Should You Place the Apostrophe in President's Day?
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Happy Presidents’ Day! Or is it President’s Day? Or Presidents Day? What you call the national holiday depends on where you are, who you’re honoring, and how you think we’re celebrating.

Saying "President’s Day" infers that the day belongs to a singular president, such as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, whose birthdays are the basis for the holiday. On the other hand, referring to it as "Presidents’ Day" means that the day belongs to all of the presidents—that it’s their day collectively. Finally, calling the day "Presidents Day"—plural with no apostrophe—would indicate that we’re honoring all POTUSes past and present (yes, even Andrew Johnson), but that no one president actually owns the day.

You would think that in the nearly 140 years since "Washington’s Birthday" was declared a holiday in 1879, someone would have officially declared a way to spell the day. But in fact, even the White House itself hasn’t chosen a single variation for its style guide. They spelled it “President’s Day” here and “Presidents’ Day” here.


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Maybe that indecision comes from the fact that Presidents Day isn’t even a federal holiday. The federal holiday is technically still called “Washington’s Birthday,” and states can choose to call it whatever they want. Some states, like Iowa, don’t officially acknowledge the day at all. And the location of the punctuation mark is a moot point when individual states choose to call it something else entirely, like “George Washington’s Birthday and Daisy Gatson Bates Day” in Arkansas, or “Birthdays of George Washington/Thomas Jefferson” in Alabama. (Alabama loves to split birthday celebrations, by the way; the third Monday in January celebrates both Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert E. Lee.)

You can look to official grammar sources to declare the right way, but even they don’t agree. The AP Stylebook prefers “Presidents Day,” while Chicago Style uses “Presidents’ Day.”

The bottom line: There’s no rhyme or reason to any of it. Go with what feels right. And even then, if you’re in one of those states that has chosen to spell it “President’s Day”—Washington, for example—and you use one of the grammar book stylings instead, you’re still technically wrong.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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