Thursday, May 5, 2011

May Day, Lei Day, Cinco De Mayo, Liberation Day, and Boys' Day

I love to celebrate international holidays ...  let's go back to Sunday for two holidays I missed:

May 1 - May Day:  From Info Please,

May 1st, often called May Day, just might have more holidays than any other day of the year. It's a celebration of Spring. It's a day of political protests. It's a neopagan festival, a saint's feast day, and a day for organized labor. In many countries, it is a national holiday.

May 1 - Lei Day:  From City of Honolulu,

Poet laureate, Don Blanding, thought that Hawai‘i should have a day set aside to celebrate and recognize the custom of giving and receiving lei. While working at the Honolulu Star Bulletin, Don discussed the idea with “Kamaaina Kolumn” columnist Grace Tower Warren. She enthusiastically embraced the idea and suggested that the day should be May Day and coined the phrase May Day is Lei Day. Inspired by their zeal, Leonard “Red” and Ruth Hawk, a musician, composed May Day is Lei Day in Hawai‘i. This song resonates throughout every Lei Day celebration in the State of Hawai‘i.
And today,
May 5 - Cinco De Mayo:  From the History Channel,
Cinco de Mayo—or the fifth of May—commemorates the Mexican army's 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). A relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations. Cinco de Mayo traditions include parades, mariachi music performances and street festivals in cities and towns across Mexico and the United States.
May 5 - Liberation Day:  From NL Planet,
The Netherlands is unique amongst its neighbours in having two national holidays stemming from the second World War: Remembrance Day – ‘Dodenherdenking’ and Liberation Day – ‘Bevrijdingsdag’.
On 4 May there are solemn ceremonies commemorating all the Dutch who have died in conflicts worldwide. On 5 May, there is a celebration of freedom everywhere, now and in the future, especially where it is threatened. The two days have changed in character over the years but still reflect the significance of the second World War in the Dutch psyche.

May 5 - Boys' Festival:  From Ginkoya,

May brings the reminder that in Japan, as in the United States, one of a nation's greatest assets is her children. May 5 is "Children's Day" in Japan, the day to stress the importance of respecting the character of children and promoting their health and happiness. It is also the day for children to express their gratitude for the tender love and care they receive from their parents.

On this day Japanese families celebrate Tango-no-Sekku, the Boys' Festival. With its special customs and observances, it is Japan's way of celebrating the healthy growth and development of her young boys.

(Girls' Day is celebrated March 3). 

In honor of these holidays, let's giveaway some prizes (one winner per prize):

- From Hawaii, hand made silken lei (winner may choose the color)

- Representing the Netherlands, a tote bag with tulips

- From Japan, a silken pouch (from the Buddhist Temple in Kaneohe)

Plus each winner may choose a book from my RT stash.

To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about a May holiday you celebrate.

2.  This giveaway is open to all readers.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, May 7, 10 pm in Hawaii.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, May 8 - Mother's Day in the US.



In the later half of May, we'll celebrate:

- Military Spouses' Apprecation on May 13;
- Armed Forces Week on May 16- 20;
- Memorial Day on May 31.

Sunday's news about Osama Bin Laden reminds us how military personnel put themselves in harm's way. Although the Navy Seals can celebrate their success on this mission, they have sustained significant losses during the last 10 years' campaign to end terror. Thus, I have identified a special fund to benefit military families of Navy Seals as the beneficiary of our ongoing Silent Auction of Jodi's beautiful quilt:

Place a bid. Make a donation. Forward this link to your family and friends. Thank you for your support!


  1. I like to celebrate Cinco De Mayo day also my sister's birthday which is in the month of May!

  2. We don't celebrate May day here, I love the pictures shown and it would be nice to celebrate, especially this year with such a long winter.

  3. I love to celebrate Cinco de Mayo - I usually eat Mexican food at least twice during the day and try to drink at least 1 margarita....thanks for the info on the other holidays!

  4. Well, I don't really celebrate anything in May - except the end of school! I've been celebrating that since my first summer vacation xDD

  5. I remember celebrating May Day when I was really young in school (probably kindergarten) but nothing much after that. I may start celebrating it because after the snow finally ends, I am definately thankful for warmer weather.
    I love that you are including so many different customs with this posting.

  6. May is such a wonderful month. I planned both my daughter's births for spring which is my favorite time of year. One was born May 3rd and the other April 20th so lots to celebrate. I too celebrated May Day as a child but I'm thinking it's blended with Cinco de Mayo now. Tonight we are celebrating up at our American Legion which is putting on a celebration! With the capture of Bin Laden it is something else to thank our men in service for all they do.

  7. The biggest holiday in May would be my DD Rachel's birthday on May 13. She'll be turning 29 this year. Other than that, we have Mother's Day and Memorial Day. I love Memorial Day because Hubs gets a long weekend! But also to honor our fallen heroes.

  8. We celebrate Mother's Day and we catch the Memorial Day parade on TV. There are also a lot activities during Fleet Week.

  9. memorial Day is the only holiday we celebrate in May.

  10. May holiday, i guess we have May day. Our local mother's day is on December 22nd :)
    as i'm a full time mommy, a whole may is a holiday for me :D

  11. Happy Mother's Day to all my blogger friends!

  12. Mother's Day :-) And with that, a Happy almost Mother's Day to all the mommies out there!

  13. I watched the ceremony of Remembrance Day on tv, taking place in Amsterdam. A young girl read a poem she had written and the Royal family placed a wreath of flowers. It was very beautiful/emotional to see.

  14. There are so many reasons for celebration in May! Aside from Mother's Day, there's Memorial Day, Cinco de Mayo, Armed Forces Day, and my birthday. :)

  15. I always do something festive on Cinco de Mayo. It started back when I was in my high school spanish class, cause we always did something to celebrate and I've continued ever since. I also celebrate Mother's Day and Memorial Day.

  16. A May holiday that we celebrate in Canada would be Victoria Day, celebrated on the Monday before May 25th because this day is to celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday on May 24th.

  17. Well May is a busy month for us! When I was little we always had a May Day pagent at school where we sang and danced around the May Pole! We always have a mexican style dinner for Cinco de Mayo and this year my daughter had a Cinco de Mayo carnival with a taco dinner at her school. It was fun! We always celebrate Mothers Day for all the mom's in my family with gifts, cards and a nice lunch and dinner. Then finally its my birthday in May too so Its a very exciting month!