Memorial Day: Arlington National Cemetery 2011, by Celine Aussourd via Flickr
Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May, and honors American men and women who died in military service to their country. It was started to honor Union soldiers who died during the Civil War, but now includes those who died in any war or military action. Many towns hold Memorial Day parades and many people visit cemeteries and memorials.
This year Memorial Day falls on Monday May 25th.
Shavu’ot, the Festival of Weeks, occurs on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan (late May or early June). Shavu’ot, is a festival with both historical and agricultural significance. It commemorates the time when the first fruits were harvested and brought to the Temple, and celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. In 2015, Shavu’ot begins on May 23rd.
Next week is Bike to Work Week! Bike to Work Week is a great time to dust off your bike, get a tune-up and get back in the saddle. If a full week of riding is a little too ambitious, consider riding your bike to work on Friday May 15th — Bike to Work Day.
Mother’s Day was conceived in 1908 by Anna Jarvis of West Virginia. Ms. Jarvis believed that a special day should be set aside to honor mothers for sacrifices made on behalf of their children. She dedicated herself to this cause and was rewarded when Mother’s Day became an official holiday in 1914. The occasion quickly became commercialized, generating huge profits for greeting card companies and florists. This development so offended Anna Jarvis that she eventually renounced the holiday that she had created.
In the United States, Mother’s Day is always celebrated on the second Sunday in May. This year, Mother’s Day falls on May 10th.
Learn more about Mother’s Day and find ideas for honoring your mother on our page of links.
Cinco de Mayo means “Fifth of May” in Spanish, and is a celebration of the Mexican victory at the Battle of Puebla, May 5, 1862. The Mexican army, led by General Ignacio Zaragoza, won the battle even though the French force was three times as large and better equipped. Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in Mexico, and has become a popular heritage celebration in the United States.
Learn more about Cinco de Mayo from our page of links.
Arbor Day is a state holiday celebrated each year on last Friday in April. It is customary to observe the day by planting a tree. It is estimated that one million trees were planted in the United States on the first Arbor Day April 10, 1872. This year Arbor Day falls on April 24th.
Find tips for planting a tree and ideas for celebrating Arbor Day on our page of links.