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May Diversity Holidays

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in the United States. The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks on the project were Chinese immigrants.  

May is Military Appreciation Month - celebrated every May and is a declaration that encourages U.S. citizens to observe the month in a symbol of unity. NMAM honors current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including those who have died in the pursuit of freedom.

May is Older Americans Month, established in 1963 to honor the legacies and contributions of older Americans and to support them as they enter their next stage of life.  

May is Jewish American Heritage Month, which recognizes the diverse contributions of the Jewish people to American culture.  

May is Mental Health Awareness Month (or Mental Health Month), which aims to raise awareness and educate the public about mental illnesses and reduce the stigma that surrounds mental illnesses.  


  •  Beltane, an ancient Celtic festival celebrated on May Day, signifying the beginning of summer.


  • National Day of Prayer, a day of observance in the United States when people are asked to “turn to God in prayer and meditation.”


  • Feasts of Saints Philip and James, a Roman rite feast day held on the anniversary of the dedication of the Church to Saints Phillip and James in Rome.
  • Asian-American Women’s and Pacific Islander Women’s Equal Pay Day 2024 raises awareness about the pay gap between Asian-American and Pacific Islander women and White men. Asian-American women are paid 90 cents for every dollar paid to White men.


  • Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican holiday commemorating the Mexican Army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861–1867). This day celebrates Mexican culture and heritage with a variety of festivities, including parades and mariachi music performances.
  • Orthodox Easter (also called Pascha), a later Easter date than what is observed by many Western churches.
  • Ascension of Jesus or Ascension Day, celebrated as the ascension of Christ from Earth in the presence of God within most of the Christian faith.

MAY 5 - 6

  • Yom HaShoah, Israel’s day of remembrance for the approximately six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust.

MAY 10

  • Military Spouse Appreciation Day is an annual occasion observed on the Friday before Mother's Day in May to recognize and honor the support and sacrifices of military spouses in the US.

MAY 15

  • Buddha Day (Vesak or Visakha Puja), a Buddhist festival that marks Gautama Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and death. It falls on the day of the full moon in May and is a gazetted holiday in India.

MAY 17

  • International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, a global celebration of sexual orientation and gender diversities.

MAY 19

  • Malcolm X Day, a holiday celebrated either on May 19th, his birthday, or on the third Friday in May, to commemorate the Civil Rights leader.
  • Pentecost, a Christian holiday which takes place on the 50th day after Easter Sunday. It commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks, as described in the Acts of the Apostles.

MAY 21

  •  World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, a day set aside by the United Nations as an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to learn to live together in harmony.

MAY 22 - 23 (sundown to sundown)

  • Declaration of the Báb, the day of declaration of the Báb, the forerunner of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í faith.

MAY 25 - 26 (sundown to sundown)

  • Lag BaOmer, a Jewish holiday marking the day of hillula of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.

MAY 26

  • Trinity Sunday, observed in the Western Christian faith as a feast in honor of the Holy Trinity.

MAY 27

  • Memorial Day in the United States, a federal holiday established to honor military veterans who died in wars fought by US forces.

MAY 27 - 28

  • Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh, commemorates the ascension of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í faith.

MAY 30

  • Corpus Christi, a Catholic holiday celebrating the presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist.

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