- International Labour Day/May Day
International Labour Day is celebrated all around the year every year on 1st of May. In India, we call it Antarrashtriya Shramik Diwas or Kamgar Din. It is a celebration of labourers and the working classes and has been promoted by the international labour movement.
- Maharashtra Day/Maharashtra Diwas
This day marks the formation of the state of Maharashtra from the division of the Bombay State on 1st May 1960. The Bombay state consisted of parts of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa and Madhya Pradesh before this.
- Press Freedom Day
Press Freedom Day is an opportunity to evaluate freedom of press in various countries of the world and to pay tribute to journalists who lost their lives while practising their profession.
- Coal Miners Day
Coal Miners Day is observed to honour coal miners and their contribution to society and economies despite being in very dangerous professions.
- International Firefighters Day
This day was first proposed on 4th January, 1999 in Australia when five firefighters lost their lives. From then on, this day is observed to recognise and honour the contribution made by firefighters for public safety and environment.
First Sunday of May
- World Laughter Day
This unique day started in India! On 10 May, 1998, the first celebration was held in Mumbai, India. Dr. Madan Kataria, who is the founder of the Global Laughter Yoga movement, started this day.
First Tuesday of May
- World Asthma Day
World Asthma Day is observed to improve awareness about the respiratory disease called asthma. The annual event is organised by the Global Initiative for Asthma.
- World Athletics Day
All work, no play, makes Jack a dull and sick boy! The World Athletics Day is observed on 7th May to raise awareness about the importance of sports among youth. Schools and institutions are encouraged to espouse athletics as the primary sport. Youth also are encouraged to take up the sport of athletics.
- Rabindranath Tagore Jayanti
Rabindranath Tagore Jayanti is the birth anniversary of one of India’s greatest authors, poets, humanists and philosophers. He was born on 7th May, 1861 in Kolkata, then known as Calcutta. In 1913, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work Gitanjali.
- World Red Cross Day
World Red Cross Day marks the birthday of the founder of Red Cross, Henry Dunant. He was a great humanitarian and also founded the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). For his efforts, he became the first ever recipient of the Nobel Peace prize.
- World Thalassaemia Day
World Thalassaemia Day is observed every year to honour all those who suffer from Thalassaemia and as well as their brave caregivers. Thalassemia is a genetic blood disorder which can be passed on from parent to child.
- Surdas Jayanti
Surdas Jayanti is the birth anniversary of Sant Surdas. He was born in 1478 C.E. He is one India’s best known historical poets and musicians and is known for his devotional songs revolving around Lord Krishna’s childhood.
- Shankaracharya Jayanti
Shankaracharya Jayanti is the birth anniversary of Shankaracharya, also known as Adi Shankaracharya or Shri Adi Shankaracharya. He was an 8th century Indian philosopher and theologian. His teachings are said to have influenced the growth of Hinduism in India. He expounded the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta.
- Ramanujacharya Jayanti/Sri Ramanuja Jayanti
Ramanujacharya’s birth anniversary is a reminder of the great Hindu philosopher and scholar. He was an ardent worshiper of Lord Vishnu.
- National Technology Day
National Technology Day highlights the importance of Science in our daily lives and encourages students to select science as a career option. This day was chosen because Shakti, the Pokhran nuclear test, was conducted on 11th May, 1998.
Second Sunday of May
- Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of every May to honour all the mothers of the world. The idea of celebrating Mother’s Day to honour mothers and motherhood was given by Anna Jarvis in 1907. Anna Jarvis was a social activist, and founded Mother’s Day to honour her mother’s wish after she died.
- International Nurses Day
International Nurses day is celebrated annually to commemorate the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Florence Nightingale is known as the founder of modern nursing. This day recognises and honours the contribution of nurses in providing the world quality healthcare. As part of this day, the International Council of Nurses produces a special themed International Nurses Kit to educate and assist health workers globally every year.
- International Day of Families/ International Family Day
International Family Day was proclaimed by UN General Assembly resolution in 1993. It reflects the importance the international community attaches to families. It also attempts to raise awareness about issues related to the families and to increase knowledge about the social, economic and demographic processes that affect them.
- World Telecommunication Day and Information Society Day
World Telecommunication Day marks the founding of the International Telecommunication Unit (ITU) when the first International Telegraph Convention was signed in Paris on 17 May, 1865. The purpose of the day is to increase awareness about the potential of the internet and ICT to uplift society and economies and bridge the digital divide.
- World Hypertension Day
This day was recognised by the World Hypertension League (WHL). It promotes awareness about a major lifestyle disorder today, i.e. hypertension, and to educate people on how to prevent and control it.
- World AIDS Vaccine Day/ HIV Vaccine Awareness Day
This day honours the efforts of thousands of researchers, scientists, health professionals who have worked tirelessly to find safe and effective AIDS medicine. The day also serves as an opportunity to educate people about the importance of preventive HIV vaccine research.
- International Museum Day
International Museum Day is observed on 18th May every year to raise awareness about museums and their role in society. This day was created by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) in 1977. The organisation gives different themes to the day every year including globalisation, bridging cultural gaps and environmental care.
- National Anti-Terrorism Day
Anti-Terrorism Day is observed every year on 21st May in the memory of former Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi who was assassinated on this day. The day spreads awareness about the violence caused by the terrorists.
- International Day for Biological Diversity
International Day for Biological Diversity aims to increase awareness and understanding of biodiversity and the threats posed to it by human actions. It is a United Nations–sanctioned international day.
- Anti-Tobacco Day/ World No Tobacco Day
Anti-Tobacco Day or World No Tobacco Day is a global reminder to people about the harmful effects of tobacco on our health. The nodal body for observing this day is the World Health Organization (WHO).