Special Days and Observances in May



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In May, nicer weather brings people out to participate in walkathons and events that focus on health awareness and healthy living. It's also the time that moms around the world get showered with love for Mother's Day. Another favorite United States celebration in May is Memorial Day, the national holiday that is also known as the unofficial start to summer.

If you're looking for a quirky way to enjoy May, you have plenty of additional special days to join the fun. Some lesser-known, super interesting highlights include observances like National Photo Month and Youth Traffic Safety Week. There's also the Star Wars "May the Fourth" holiday revered by sci-fi fans all over the world.

  • 01 of 10

    National Photo Month

    Person looking at a photograph

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    The earliest known surviving photograph dates back to the mid-1820s. It shows the view from a window at a wealthy estate in the Burgundy region of France. National Photo Month, celebrated in May, was created as a way to commemorate the invention of the camera. A great way to celebrate this day is to dig up old photographs, take a photography course, or take a look at some of the most iconic images ever snapped. 

  • 02 of 10

    Sun Day

    Wind turbines and solar panels

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    In response to the 1973 oil embargo, the U.S. President Jimmy Carter declared May 3, "Sun Day," in honor of the economic importance of solar power. The sun "can't be embargoed by any foreign nation," as stated by actor Robert Redford in regards to the observance day creation at the United Nations.

  • 03 of 10

    Intergalactic Star Wars Day (May the Fourth Be With You Day)

    Star Wars

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    May the Fourth is the day to celebrate Star Wars and everything the epic space odyssey has given its fans like lightsabers, Wookies, the Millenium Falcon, and so much more. The day stems from the famous movie expression, "May the force be with you." This is the perfect day to dress up as your favorite character and watch (or rewatch) one of the Star Wars films.

  • 04 of 10

    Limerick Day

    Boys doing schoolwork together

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    May 12 is the day to celebrate one of the most kid-friendly forms of poetry ever—the limerick. It was popularized by Edward Lear in his first "Book of Nonsense" in 1846. Many of these poems are comical, or in Lear's case, they were considered "nonsensical literature." Regardless, children love hearing these five-lined wonders and crafting them, too.

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  • 05 of 10

    World Information Society Day (Telecommunications Day)

    Teenage girls using cell phones

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    World Telecommunications Day was renamed in 2005 as World Information Society Day to recognize the prominence of the internet in everyday life. To mark the May 17 celebration, perhaps it's time to treat yourself to a new phone case, screen protector, or phone.

  • 06 of 10

    Food Allergy Awareness Week

    Allergenic foods in bowls


    The third week of May is Food Allergy Awareness Week. Food allergy awareness has become essential in today's world, and it can mean life or death for another human being. There are about 15 million people in the U.S. with food allergies. Eight major food allergens—milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, and crustacean shellfish—are responsible for most of the serious food allergy reactions in the United States.

    To celebrate the week, pick a day and try to cook allergen-free. You may find it difficult, but it will help you recognize what others around you might be going through. If you have food allergies, you can use the day to share your story or help create awareness.

    Also, each year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America declares May to be National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month since it's a peak season for asthma and allergy sufferers.

  • 07 of 10

    International Museum Day

    Dinosaur called Sue on exhibit

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    The objective of International Museum Day, celebrated on May 18, is to spread the word that museums are an important means of cultural exchange. They also encourage the development of mutual understanding, cooperation, and peace among peoples. To mark the day, more than 36,000 museums in more than 150 countries participate in events or activities for museum-goers. 

  • 08 of 10

    World Turtle Day

    Russian Tortoise Goes on a Stroll

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    Every year since 2000, May 23 is World Turtle Day to bring awareness to turtles and tortoises species that need human help to stay alive and prosper. To celebrate the day, you can dress up as a turtle, wear green, or volunteer in a turtle or reptile rescue. Many schools around the world plan craft projects for youngsters to teach them about the plight of the turtle.

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  • 09 of 10

    Geek Pride Day

    Boy wearing goggles and pointing his finger

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    It used to be that being called a geek or a nerd was a bad thing. Now, geeks are lauded. A geek can run the gamut from Star Wars fans and video gamers to super brainy physics majors and fantasy fiction fanatics. To mark the May 25 celebration, queue up the Lord of the Rings trilogy, play Dungeons and Dragons with friends, or attend a Geek Pride Day event around the world. Every year, more celebrations are developed to remind the world that geeks are here to stay.

  • 10 of 10

    Global Youth Traffic Safety Month

    Crossing Guard Helping Kids Cross Safely

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    Traffic accidents remain the number one cause of death among American teenagers. Distracted driving, drunk or drugged driving, and sleep deprivation are some of the primary reasons that these accidents occur. The goal of Global Youth Traffic Safety Month is to prevent injuries and save lives by training teens and parents to be safer drivers. May is the month to volunteer as a street crossing guard or encourage your friends to wear their seatbelts and stop texting while driving.