May Holiday Spotlight
May is Asian Pacific American Month in the United States. During this month, we acknowledge the heritage and contributions of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese people 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 workers who laid the tracks on the project were Chinese immigrants. During this time of rising hate crimes against Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, and always, it is important to remember, tell, and share stories of the rich cultural history and accomplishments of our API American communities.
Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday commemorating the Mexican Army’s 1862 victory over France on May 5th at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). Four days after this battle, Cinco de Mayo was declared a national holiday by the Mexican president Benito Juarez.
On May 5th, the city of Puebla hosts an art and food festival, parades, and a reenactment of the famous battle. Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day (which is September 16th), and is seen as a pretty minor holiday in Mexico. In actuality, it is more widely celebrated in the United States as a recognition of Mexican culture and heritage.
- May 2: Pascha Orthodox Easter
- May 5: Cinco de Mayo
- May 9: Laylat al-Qadr
- May 12-13 (sundown to sundown): Eid al-Fitr
- May 16-18 (sundown to sundown): Shavuot
- May 17: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
- May 21: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
- May 23: Pentecost
- May 26: Vesak or Visakha Puja (Buddha Day)
- May 31: Memorial Day in the United States
Full details on each holiday can be found here.
Written by Taylor Kanemori, Director of Equity & Inclusion