17 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate in May
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
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
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
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
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
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.