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Important Dates in May


May 1st – International Labour Day

International Worker’s Day or simply May Day is named to celebrate the working class around the globe. In some countries May Day is a traditional holiday to celebrate the beginning of the summer. But in 1886 May 1st was chosen as Worker’s Day for political reasons. In 1886 there was a general strike for the eight-hour workday. On 4 May, the police acted to disperse a public assembly in support of the strike when an unidentified person threw a bomb. The police responded by firing on the workers. The event led to the deaths of seven police officers and at least thirty-eight civilians; sixty police officers were injured, as were one hundred and fifteen civilians.

International Worker’s Day or simply May Day is named to celebrate the working class around the globe. In some countries May Day is a traditional holiday to celebrate the beginning of the summer. But in 1886 May 1st was chosen as Worker’s Day for political reasons. In 1886 there was a general strike for the eight-hour workday. On 4 May, the police acted to disperse a public assembly in support of the strike when an unidentified person threw a bomb. The police responded by firing on the workers. The event led to the deaths of seven police officers and at least thirty-eight civilians; sixty police officers were injured, as were one hundred and fifteen civilians. Hundreds of labour leaders and sympathizers were later rounded-up and four were executed by hanging, after a trial that was seen as a miscarriage of justice. The following day on 5 May, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the state militia fired on a crowd of strikers killing seven, including a schoolboy and a man feeding chickens in his yard. This event is called as Haymarket Affair.

May 2nd – World Laughter Day

World Laughter day was established in 1998 by Dr. Madhan Katariya. He is the founder of the Laughter Yoga movement. The event was first celebrated in India and currently celebrated worldwide. Its objective is to spread the message about Positive and powerful emotion that has all the ingredients required for individuals to change themselves and to change the world in a peaceful and positive way.

May 3rd – Press Freedom Day

World press day or Press Freedom Day is declared at the General assembly of UN. It is to raise awareness about the importance of press freedom and to remind the governments about of their duty to respect and uphold the freedom of expression under the article 19 of 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

May 4th – World Asthma Day & International Firefighter’s Day

World Asthma Day is an annual event organized by GINA (Global Initiative for Asthma). There is no exact date fixed for this event. Since there is not a fixed date set for the event every year the date changes. First Tuesday is considered as the World Asthma Day. The inaugural World Asthma Day was held in 1998.

International Firefighters’ Day (IFFD) is observed on May 4. It was instituted after a proposal was emailed out across the world on January 4, 1999 due to the deaths of five firefighters in tragic circumstances in a bushfire in Australia. On December 2, 1998, a tragic event shook the Linton Community, Australia and the world. Firefighters in Linton, Australia, a populated region in Victoria, were fighting a large bush fire and called for mutual aid. This urgent mutual aid call brought the Geelong West Fire Brigade to the scene, not knowing the despair and tragedy that was in store. Garry Vredeveldt, Chris Evans, Stuart Davidson, Jason Thomas, and Matthew Armstrong all loaded into company’s truck. They were part of a strike team and were being sent to help extinguish the flames. As the five headed into the hot zone, the wind suddenly switched direction, engulfing the truck in flames and killing all five members. This unfortunate incident is what inspired JJ Edmondson to bring about an international holiday, called International Firefighters’ Day, to support the lives lost and dedicated fire fighters who risk their lives every day to save life and property. A red and Blue ribbon is used to symbolize this date.

May 7th – World Athletic Day

May 7th is observed as the World Athletics Day. First celebrated in 1996 the objective of the World Athletic Day is to boost the popularity and participation of youth in sports. It is organized by IAAF or International Amateur Athletic Federation (or World Athletic since 2019).

May 8th – World Thalassaemia Day & World Red Cross Day

Thalassemia is a inherited blood disorder occurred due to decreased hemoglobin production. May 8th is named as World Thalassemia Day. The day is celebrated to raise awareness about the disease organized by ITF or International Thalassaemia Federation. It was founded by a small group of patients and parents in 1986.

Also Nay 8th is the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day. This date is the birth anniversary of Henry Dunant, founder of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC). The first red cross day was celebrated in May 8th 1948.

May 9th – Mother’s Day

Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

May 9th is celebrated as Mother’s Day to honor mothers all around the world. There are several days celebrated as the Mother’s Day around the world but the modern mother’s Day was initiated in US founded by Anna Jarvis in 1907.

May 12th – International Nurses Day

May 12th is considered as the International Nurses Day to mark the contribution that nurses make for the society. The date is chosen as it is the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale. It is being celebrated since 1965.

May 15th – International Family Day

The International Day of Families is observed on the 15th May every year. The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 with resolution A/RES/47/237 and reflects the importance the international community attaches to families. The International Day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families. Since 1996 the day is celebrated according to a theme.

May 17th – International Telecommunication Day & World Hypertension Day

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is an international day proclaimed in November 2006 by the International Telecommunication Union Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey, to be celebrated annually on 17 May.

Also May 17th considered as the World Hypertension Day. World Hypertension Day is a day designated and initiated by The World Hypertension League (WHL), which is itself an umbrella to organizations of 85 national hypertension societies and leagues. The day was initiated to increase the awareness of hypertension. This was especially important because of the lack of appropriate knowledge among hypertensive patients. The first hypertension day was held in 2005.

May 18th – World AIDS Vaccine Day

World AIDS Vaccine Day, also known as HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, is observed annually on May 18. HIV vaccine advocates mark the day by promoting the continued urgent need for a vaccine to prevent HIV infection and AIDS. They acknowledge and thank the thousands of volunteers, community members, health professionals, supporters and scientists who are working together to find a safe and effective AIDS vaccine and urge the international community to recognize the importance of investing in new technologies as a critical element of a comprehensive response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The concept of World AIDS Vaccine Day is rooted in a May 18, 1997 commencement speech at Morgan State University made by then-President Bill Clinton. Clinton challenged the world to set new goals in the emerging age of science and technology and develop an AIDS vaccine within the next decade stating, “Only a truly effective, preventive HIV vaccine can limit and eventually eliminate the threat of AIDS. The first World AIDS Vaccine Day was observed on May 18, 1998 to commemorate the anniversary of Clinton’s speech, and the tradition continues today. Each year communities around the globe hold a variety of activities on World AIDS Vaccine Day to raise awareness for AIDS vaccines, educate communities about HIV prevention and research for an AIDS vaccine and bring attention to the ways in which ordinary people can be a part of the international effort to stem the pandemic.

May 20th International Bee Day

International Bee Day is celebrated on the 20th May every year. It was first celebrated in 2018. The date is specially chosen as it was the birth date of the Anton Janša, pioneer of beekeeping.

May 22nd – International Day for Biological Diversity

The International Day for Biological Diversity (or World Biodiversity Day) is a United Nations–sanctioned international day for the promotion of biodiversity issues. It is currently held on May 22. The International Day for Biological Diversity falls within the scope of the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals. In this larger initiative of international cooperation, the topic of biodiversity concerns stakeholders in sustainable agriculture; desertification, land degradation and drought; water and sanitation; health and sustainable development; energy; science, technology and innovation, knowledge-sharing and capacity-building; urban resilience and adaptation; sustainable transport; climate change and disaster risk reduction; oceans and seas; forests; vulnerable groups including indigenous peoples; and food security. The critical role of biodiversity in sustainable development was recognized in a Rio+20 outcome document, “The World We Want: A Future for All”.

May 24th – Commonwealth Day

Commonwealth Day (formerly Empire Day) is the annual celebration of the Commonwealth of Nations, since 1977 often held on the second Monday in March. It is marked by an Anglican service in Westminster Abbey, normally attended by Queen Elizabeth II as Head of the Commonwealth along with the Commonwealth Secretary-General and Commonwealth High Commissioners in London. The Queen delivers an address to the Commonwealth, which is broadcast throughout the world. After the death of Queen Victoria on 22 January 1901, her birthday, 24 May, was celebrated from 24 May 1902 as Empire Day, though it was not officially recognized as an annual event until 1916

May 31st – Anti Tobacco Day

Anti Tobacco Day or World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is observed around the world every year on 31 May. This yearly celebration informs the public on the dangers of using tobacco, the business practices of tobacco companies, what the World Health Organization (WHO) is doing to fight against the use of tobacco, and what people around the world can do to claim their right to health and healthy living and to protect future generations. Created World No Tobacco Day in 1987 to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes.

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