31 Reasons to Celebrate in May

Special days and unconventional holidays to observe

Month of May calendar illustration with each day's holiday noted

The Spruce / Xiaojie Liu

There are plenty of reasons to love May. It's the start of summer, flowers are blooming, and you can finally begin entertaining outdoors again. Whether it's World Press Freedom Day or National Buttermilk Biscuit Day, there's something official to celebrate just about every single day of the month.

Here are 31 reasons to celebrate during the month of May.

Fun Fact

May is named for the Greek goddess Maia.

  • 01 of 31

    May 1: May Day

    Smiling people sitting at an outdoor table enjoying a meal

    Hero Images / Getty Images

    May Day celebrations are thrown to honor the spring season in the Northern hemisphere. Some traditions include dancing around the maypole, indulging in treats, and showering loved ones with gifts. During the 19th century, May Day took on a new meaning. Born out of the movement for better working conditions, May Day is also called International Workers' Day, which was created to raise awareness of poor labor conditions.

  • 02 of 31

    May 2: National Truffle Day

    Chocolate truffles coated with nuts

    Nicola Tree / DigitalVision / Getty Images

    Traditionally truffles are made with a chocolate ganache center and are coated in chocolate, icing, and cocoa powder. Nontraditionally (but still deliciously), they can be filled with marshmallow cream, liqueur, fruit, or caramel. To celebrate this day in style, invite your friends over to sample some chocolatey truffles. 

  • 03 of 31

    May 3: World Press Freedom Day

    Large stack of folded newspapers

    Jill Ferry Photography / Moment / Getty Images

    The press informs the public, and World Press Freedom Day was started to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and expression. No matter your political leanings or news outlet of choice, a free press is vital to all people and their knowledge of world happenings.

  • 04 of 31

    May 4: Bird Day

    A yellow parakeet and a blue one nuzzle in a birdcage

    Lawren / Moment / Getty Images

    Birds are pretty amazing. Many birds fly thousands of miles to migrate, and they're descendants of dinosaurs. Some species can even develop a robust vocabulary of human words. If you're a bird owner, celebrate Bird Day by giving some tasty treats to your feathered friend. If you don't have a pet bird, you can still learn some fun facts about birds.

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  • 05 of 31

    May 5: Cinco de Mayo

    Three soft shell chorizo tacos with corn, lime, and radishes on a plate

    istetiana / Moment / Getty Images

    Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican victory over the French during the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Over time, it has evolved into a day of celebrating Mexican culture. If you want a more authentic way to celebrate, skip the margarita and sip on a Paloma (a cocktail with tequila, grapefruit, lime, and soda water). You can also enjoy some corn tamales with tomatillo salsa, and fry some yucca root for a crunchy, salty side dish. 

  • 06 of 31

    May 6: International No Diet Day

    Tabletop with plates, drinks, pizzas, chips, and french fries photographed from above

    Westend61 / Getty Images

    International No Diet Day (or every day!) is the perfect time to indulge in some of your favorite foods. Grab a gooey grilled cheese with fries, a pizza with your favorite toppings, or a sweet ice cream sundae.

  • 07 of 31

    May 7: National Cosmopolitan Day

    Cosmopolitan cocktail with orange peel in closeup

    Leslie Thomon / Moment / Getty Images

    Cosmopolitans are traditionally made with vodka, orange liqueur, lime juice, and cranberry juice. These shaken cocktails are the perfect combination of sweet and tart flavors. Order a cosmopolitan (or try making your own), and channel your inner Carrie Bradshaw from "Sex and the City."

  • 08 of 31

    May 8: Iris Day

    Purple iris blossoms

    Sungmoon Han / EyeEm / Getty Images

    After weeks of spring showers, it's finally time to celebrate May flowers. In particular, colorful irises deserve a special day. They are stunning flowers that add drama to spring floral arrangements or a perennial flower garden.

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  • 09 of 31

    May 8: Mother's Day* (second Sunday)

    Child hugging mother

    Emely / Getty Images

    From being supportive to teaching important life skills, there are countless reasons why mothers are the best. Treat your mom or a maternal figure in your life to a homemade brunch, floral arrangement, or a gift to show her how much you appreciate everything she does. 

  • 10 of 31

    May 10: Stay Up All Night, Night

    Three children under a blanket looking at a tablet in bed

    Imgorthand / Getty

    Do you need an excuse to stay up all night? We've got you covered. May 10th is Stay Up All Night Night. Be wild, grab some extra caffeine at dinner to keep you going, and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! It's going to be a great night for fun.

  • 11 of 31

    May 11: National Eat What You Want Day

    Spoons and two mugs containing chocolate sponge fondant cake

    Steve Brown Photography/ Getty Images

    National Eat What You Want Day is the perfect excuse (not that you need one) to treat yourself to something a little more decadent than you’d normally eat. Whether it’s pizza loaded with toppings, or a dense chocolate cake, enjoy some of your favorite foods today.

  • 12 of 31

    May 12: National Limerick Day

    Two hands, one holding down paper the other holding a pen and writing on the paper
    Sasha Bell / Getty Images

    Limericks are quirky, funny poems in which the first two lines rhyme with the fifth line, and the third and fourth lines rhyme with each other. Try your hand at writing some of your own five-line poems to celebrate National Limerick Day.

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  • 13 of 31

    May 13: Hummus Day

    Bowl of hummus dusted with paprika photographed from above

    Westend61 / Getty Images

    Hummus is so simple. It's a delicious blend of chickpeas, garlic, tahini, and lemon juice. It tastes great on veggie sticks, chips and pretzels, sandwiches, burgers, and more. Plus, it's a good source of plant-based protein. Try making your own hummus to celebrate Hummus Day. You can jazz up your regular recipe by adding jalapeños, chopped olives, or roasted garlic for some extra flavor. 

  • 14 of 31

    May 14: National Buttermilk Biscuit Day

    Golden buttermilk biscuits

    rudisill / iStock / Getty Images

    Whether it's covered in butter, stuffed with bacon and eggs, or filled with ice cream, there's no wrong way to eat a buttermilk biscuit. Learn how to make your own biscuits at home, and enjoy them while they're still fresh and warm.

  • 15 of 31

    May 15: Chocolate Chip Day

    Stack of four chocolate chip cookies

    Lisa Hubbard / Photolibrary / Getty Images

    Whether eaten by the handful, or baked into cookies and other desserts, chocolate chips make life a little sweeter. Celebrate Chocolate Chip Day by trying out a new recipe that uses chocolate chips.

  • 16 of 31

    May 16: Love a Tree Day

    Large tree trunk in the middle of a forest

    James O'Neil / DigitalVision / Getty Images

    Even though Love a Tree Day is officially celebrated once a year, you should love trees every single day. To show your appreciation, give your favorite tree a hug. Even better, plant a new tree to be enjoyed in your yard.

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  • 17 of 31

    May 17: National Walnut Day

    Cupped hands and holding shelled walnuts

    Franck Bichon / StockFood Creative / Getty Images

    Walnuts can add texture and flavor to many recipes. Choose a walnut-centric recipe to make today in honor of this powerhouse nut.

  • 18 of 31

    May 18: National No Dirty Dishes Day

    Dirty dishes being washed in a sink filled with soap suds

    Martine Mouchy / Photographer's Choice / Getty Images

    Not many people actually like doing the dishes. But it’s a chore that inevitably has to be done. For National No Dirty Dishes Day, make a point to wash dishes or at least load them into your dishwasher immediately. The goal of the day is to avoid a dish pile gathering in your sink. It might just become a new habit.

  • 19 of 31

    May 19: National Devil's Food Cake Day

    Chocolate cake with vanilla frosting

    Amy Neunsinger / Photodisc / Getty Images

    If you’re a chocolate cake lover, today’s your day. Devil’s food cake recipes are specifically crafted to bring out the chocolate flavor in the cake. In honor of the day, learn how to make your own devil’s food cake, or pick up a slice from your local bakery.

  • 20 of 31

    May 20: National Quiche Lorraine Day

    Quiche Lorraine with single slice cut showing the filling

    Foodcollection RF / Getty Images

    Quiche Lorraine is made by combining eggs, bacon, Swiss cheese, and onions and then baking them in a golden crust. Enjoy this eggy delight for a savory brunch or even paired with a bright salad for dinner.

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  • 21 of 31

    May 21: National Memo Day

    Sticky note reminders in various colors on a wall above a bathroom sink

    Paul Viant / DigitalVision / Getty Images

    On National Memo Day, flex your leadership skills and send out a helpful work memo. You can even celebrate the day just for fun by writing a newsletter for friends and family. Or you can simply put a few sticky notes around your house for your family with some fun facts.

  • 22 of 31

    May 22: National Vanilla Pudding Day

    Glasses containing vanilla pudding topped with raspberries and mint, and a small bowl of raspberries

    InKiev / iStock / Getty Images

    Whether you prefer it straight out of the bowl or in the center of a cake, vanilla pudding is a sweet, easy-to-make addition to many desserts. Look up a recipe that uses vanilla pudding to try out for National Vanilla Pudding Day.

  • 23 of 31

    May 23: World Turtle Day

    Turtle walking through grass

    Asif Sherazi / Moment / Getty Images

    With their shells that serve as protection and pre-historic appearance, turtles are very interesting creatures. Take some time on World Turtle Day to learn more about these reptiles and how you can help protect them in the wild.

  • 24 of 31

    May 24: Asparagus Day

    A bunch of fresh green purple asparagus tips in closeup

    Henrik Sorensen / DigitalVision / Getty Images

    Asparagus is one of the first veggies to appear at the springtime farmers markets. Try it roasted with garlic and your favorite seasonings, blended into a creamy soup, or scalloped with creamy cheddar sauce in honor of Asparagus Day.

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  • 25 of 31

    May 25: National Wine Day

    Couple toasting two glasses of red wine with a background of desserts on a table

    Lumina Images / Blend Images / Getty Images

    National Wine Day gives you a pretty good reason to indulge in a glass of wine. Pour a glass from your favorite bottle, or try a completely new varietal. You can also have fun serving themed flights (a sampling of various wines) from specific regions of the world.

  • 26 of 31

    May 26: National Blueberry Cheesecake Day

    Slice of blueberry cheesecake, a pan of fresh blueberries, and a glass bowl of blueberry compote

    victoriabee / RooM / Getty Images

    Blueberry cheesecake is a decadent treat that should definitely be enjoyed on this day. Pick up a New York-style variety from your favorite bakery, or experiment with creating your own blueberry cheesecakes at home.

  • 27 of 31

    May 27: National Grape Popsicle Day

    Young girl with a purple tongue, purple tinted hair and in a purple shirt holding a purple popsicle

    harpazo_hope / Getty

    What's more refreshing on a hot day than a juicy, grape popsicle that's sure to leave your tongue a bright shade of purple. National Grape Popsicle Day is the perfect excuse to reminisce about your childhood and eating ice pops in the summer heat.

  • 28 of 31

    May 28: International Hamburger Day

    Cheeseburger on a bun with lettuce, tomato, onions, and pickle on a rustic table

    Mark Hughes / EyeEm / Getty Images

    There's nothing quite like a juicy burger piled high with all the fixings. Whether you prefer classic beef patties with American cheese, creative Italian-style burgers, or delicious meatless burgers, this is the day for kicking back and enjoying one for a meal.

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  • 29 of 31

    May 29: Learn About Composting Day

    Tiny green sprouts growing in black dirt

    Chris Winsor / Moment / Getty Images

    Household composting, or letting food and yard waste break down over time, can create super fertile soil to use in your garden or potted plants. Give those earthworms a place to thrive, and use this day as a reason to set up a composting station for your yard.

  • 30 of 31

    May 30: Water a Flower Day

    Gardener planting marigold flowers outside using bare hands with hand shovel in the dirt to the side

    Westend61 / Getty Images

    Use Water a Flower Day as a reminder to keep your May flowers watered when they're in need of a drink. However, don't get overzealous and give them too much water. Make sure you know your plants' care needs.

  • 31 of 31

    May 31: National Macaroon Day

    Four coconut macaroon cookies on a small plate
    Laura Johansen / Getty Images

    If you're confused by the differences between macaroons and macarons, you're not alone. Do a little digging on National Macaroon Day to finally learn what sets these sweets apart. Hint: it has to do with almonds versus coconut.

* Denotes that date changes each year