May Days

MAYDAY, MAYDAY!!!  When we hear thIs cry we immediately think of a distress call.  However,  there is a difference between Mayday (one word) and May Day (two words).

Mayday (one word) is an internationally recognized radio word to signal distress and mostly used by aircrafts and boats. May Day (two words) in the Northern Hemisphere has been reserved for fun and springtime activities.

May Day, the first of May, brings back memories of my childhood.  When I was in elementary school we looked forward to the May Day celebration.  Each class learned a dance and prepared colorful costumes for the festivities.  It was a privilege to be chosen as one of the students to wrap the May Pole.  Dancing around the May Pole involved a group of students taking colored ribbon streamers, attached to the top of a tall pole, weaving in and out around each other as they danced around the pole.  The dance created a multi-colored pattern down the pole. This was the highlight of the festival and performed at the end of the program.

Cinco de Mayo is another popular holiday in May.  It is a day set aside in celebration of the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Army during the Battle of Puebla in Mexico in 1862.  It is celebrated with big festivals, Mariachi bands, dancers in colorful costumes and lots of native cuisine.

FYI . . .

In 1982, President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation proclaiming May 6th as “National Recognition Day for Nurses.”  In 1993, the American Nurses Association (ANA) designated May 6 – 12 as “National Nurses Week.”  National Nurses Week ends on May 12th which is the birthday of the original founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale .

DID  YOU KNOW . . . .

Anna Jarvis is considered the “Mother of Mother’s Day” in the United States?  Jarvis’s mother passed away in 1905. Jarvis organized a Memorial Celebration in West Virginia in honor of her mother and ALL mothers. She sent 500 white carnations to that service.  That day, May 10, 1908, is considered the first official celebration of Mother’s Day.

Jarvis campaigned to have Mother’s Day recognized by the federal government.  In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill designating the Second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day in the United States. 

Anna Jarvis chose the white carnation as the official flower of Mother’s Day. She compared the carnation to a mother’s love, “The carnation does not drop its petals, but hugs them to its heart as it dies. And so too, mothers hug their children to their heart, their mother love never dying” she said. She also said, “White carnations symbolizes the virtues of motherhood: purity, faithfulness, love, charity and beauty. 

When I was young, everyone wore corsages on Mother’s Day in honor of their mothers. If your mother was alive you wore a red flower, if she was deceased you wore a white flower.  I do not know where this tradition came from. 


To All Mothers, Grandmother, Aunts and Sisters


Presidential Proclamation 2873 was signed by President Harry S. Truman on February 27, 1950. It declared Saturday, May 20, 1950 as the first Armed Forces Day. The first Armed Forces Day celebrated services unity, honored those in uniform, and reassured Americans that our military was ready for whatever challenges lay ahead.  

National Armed Forces Day is held on the third Saturday in May to pay tribute to men and women, past and present, who serve across all six branches in the United States Military.


Memorial Day is an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the United States Military.

Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. The earliest Decoration Day commemoration was organized by a group of freed slaves in Charleston, South Carolina less than a month after he Confederacy surrendered in 1865. It was called Decoration Day because the graves of soldiers were decorated with flowers and flags.

Decoration Day gradually became known as Memorial Day and was celebrated on May 30th for decades.  In 1968, Congress passed a Uniform Monday Holiday and became effective in 1971. Memorial Day became a federal holiday and changed to the last Monday in May.


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


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