Next year’s planning for May: Think ahead

May Day, May 1, Mother’s Day, the 2nd Sunday in May, and Memorial Day, the last Monday in May are the obvious “M” days for May celebrations. Then there’s Cinco de Mayo on May 5, a holiday I missed out on this year. I’ll buy a Dos Equis anyway. That’s not the only celebration opportunity that passed me by.

I have a calendar filled with hallmark days from around the world. Here are some of them that are significant in various parts of the world. It’s interesting to see which events or organizations have staked out a day as being special.

Don’t count on them being on the same date next year, however. Some are lunar which means, they move to match the moon’s cycle. Or some, like Memorial Day and Mother’s Day, are day specific.

  • May 2 and May 9–Both are Buddha related. May 2 was Buddha’s birthday. May 9, Vesak Day which was the biggie. It marks Buddha’s birth, death and enlightenment. Next year, meditate or head to a Buddhist temple. When we lived in Singapore, Vesak Day was a vacation day. It’s celebrated in across Asia with each country having it’s own mark. The photo is from the Lotus Lantern Festival in South Korea.
  • May 2–International Astronomy Day. Next spring, remember to look up at the stars. Better yet, head to a planetarium. One of my favorites is the one at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
  • May 8World Red Cross Day– Next year, donate blood.
  • May 12International Nurse’s Day–Next year, give a nurse a hug and some flowers. They make hospital stays bearable. You can also visit the
  • May 13–Tulip Time-Holland. Buy tulips. Give them to a nurse if you forgot Nurse’s Day. Better late than never. Or if your mother is a nurse and you forgot Mother’s Day, here’s a double opportunity to make amends. Or, to keep it simple go to the Tulip Time Festival in Holland Michigan.
  • May 14–Jamestown Day–Visit the living history museum, the Jamestown Settlement in Virginia. Or if you can’t visit, read a book about Jamestown.
  • May 17- Brown vs Board of Education–This isn’t exactly a holiday, but remember to be thankful that school segregation ended. Visit Topeka, Kansas, the centerpiece for this particular desegregation struggle.
  • May 29John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s Birthday-Visit Kennedy’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery, unless you did that on Memorial Day.

This year, on Mother’s Day I saw the Broadway national touring company’s production of The Color Purple with my daughter. On Memorial Day, my mom, son and I went to a the Selma Walker Memorial Powwow. Sometime this year, I will donate blood to make amends for missing out on Red Cross Day. I donated last year and found out what my travel history means when it comes to giving.

Is Anyone Out There? The UFO Festival Has Answers

Yesterday when we were driving somewhere, my daughter started talking about the Big Bang Theory which got us talking about the universe. I don’t think about the universe much. I’ve never been one to look up at the stars and wonder what’s out there. Perhaps, it’s because I travel around in my head a lot when I travel about the world. But, yesterday I looked up at the sky and thought, “My word, what is out there?”

Then today I read this first person account article on The UFO Festival in Roswell, New Mexico. Neil already wrote a post about this in May but its worth another mention since this is its 60 th year and it is coming up the beginning of July. Here’s the schedule. New Mexico does seem like a perfect place for such an event.

I’ve always thought it evokes the feeling of something being “out there” because its landscape is so vast and mysterious looking. When I lived there, I never became tired of seeing how the earth changed colors as the sun set. It starts to glow an orangey reddish- brown color that looks a bit Mars-like by the late afternoon.

And because Roswell is not the biggest of cities, I’m sure the townspeople like having the UFO mystery as part of their folklore and fame. It certainly gives people a reason to head that way. If you miss the festival, you can find out more about the Rosewell/UFO connection at the International UFO Museum and Research Center. For a scientific musing about the stars and planets, go to the Robert H. Goddard Planetarium.