May Observances

Monthlong Observances

Asian-American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Haitian Heritage Month

American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month

Jewish-American Heritage Month

Mental Health Awareness Month

Speech and Hearing Awareness Month

South Asian Heritage Month

Older Americans Month

ALS Awareness Month

Daylong Observances

May 5: Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo (May 5, 1862) originated as a time to celebrate freedom from colonialism and the longstanding fight for democracy in Mexico and the United States. To Mexican communities in the United States, victory in the battle of Puebla, Mexico during the French conquest of Mexico was seen as parallel to the fight against the confederacy in the United States and marks the purpose of its earliest celebrations in California.

Later, in the 1940s the celebration of Cinco de Mayo became a source of cultural pride in tandem with the Mexican-American civil rights movement, but began to lose cultural focus soon after. In the 1970s and 1980s, Mexican restaurants appropriated the celebration to sell food and alcohol.

Today in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is only considered a holiday by some but isn’t recognized federally. In the city of Puebla the famous battle is re-enacted and celebrated with music and fireworks. In the United States in recent years, communities with ties to Puebla are reclaiming the observance from consumerism by honoring the resilience and spirit of Mexico by celebrating Puebla history, art, food and literature.

Learn more about Cinco de Mayo:

May 17, 2023: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia

May 21, 2023: World Day for Cultural Diversity

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development was created by UNESCO back in 2001 and is celebrated each year on May 21 to foster peace and sustainable development through intercultural communication.

In 2015, the United Nations adapted the celebration into their 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with 17 key goals supporting and encouraging ongoing diverse collaboration of cultures.