Welcome, month of May. A chilly fall and cold winter have both passed and are packed up in the attic of our memories for now. April’s budding trees are at your mercy. Welcome, month of May. A year has come and gone since I saw the first signs of sprouting tulips, a rainbow of wildflowers, the coming of fresh green grass, but now I see them all again. Welcome, you are!
To help shake out the chill of the past 8 months, May comes equipped with funky, feel-good ways to celebrate her arrival, and with her departure, she gives us one of the most anticipated picnic and outdoor celebratory holidays in the United States- Memorial Day.
Today is May Day, or as they call it in Hawaiian culture, Lei Day. The Aloha State celebrates Lei Day by throwing statewide festivals; beach parties with traditional Hawaiian music and cuisine, and of course, lots of hula dancing. The Lei is a tremendously important staple in Hawaiian culture, consisting of not only the beautiful flower itself but at times, shells, nuts, feathers (sometimes animal bones), and has been a customary festive accessory since the beginning of Polynesian culture circa 3000 BC.
“In Hawaii, it is tradition to put a Lei around the graduates neck,” said Lynchburg College graduate, Zoë Eisenberg of SexyTofu.com. “My mom carried these Leis on a 12 hour flight in a cooler from Hawaii to Virginia.
If you are 5,000 miles away from paradise like myself, throw on a grass skirt and make your strongest Piña Colada, close your eyes and pretend. There is nothing wrong with a little role play as a form of escapism, just try not to do this at the office.
The full moon this month falls on the 5th, which is not only a Saturday for all your wild ones out there, but it is also Cinco De Mayo. Who smells debauchery? I most certainly do, and it all starts with Jose Gold margaritas- hold the salt- some chips and fresh guacamole.
A big fan of this Mexican holiday, Cinco De Mayo kickstarts May according to most of my interests and hobbies- drinking, eating, cooking and celebrating with friends.
If looking up at the sky in awe is your thing like it is mine, be sure to stay tuned on May 20th for a solar eclipse. I tracked the Lyrid Meteor Shower via Twitter and it was the best, most accurate way to get information from lookers across the world. I say this is a big deal because it has been a long time since the United States has been able to see an annular eclipse like this one, 18 years to be exact. Nerd alert.
May comes with a whole list of national celebrations and commemorations that are government recognized. Whether they be month-long or 24 hour-reflections, you are guaranteed to find a reason to do something out of the ordinary. For example, National Hamburger Month. I kid you not. But wait, that is totally in conjunction with National Barbecue Month. As if juicy beef patties in between fresh rolls with endless options for topping was not enough for us, May is giving us a reason to indulge in ribs, hot dogs, chicken and hot-of-the-grill goodies without guilt or discretion. Here, here to more meat!
So we have our tequila and sour mix in the blender, avocados ripe and ready to be guac’d, hamburgers sizzling on the grill, and barbecue ribs steaming away for when you get that second wind. Something is missing here. Oh right, the beer.
May celebrates National American Craft Beer Week from the 14th until the 20th. While I plan on posting up an entire blog about my adventures in drinking; comparing lagers versus lagers, ales versus ales, I want to give all of you beer freaks a reason to get excited. My personal beer favorites are indeed American brews, so using seven straight days as an excuse to taste test makes Sarah feel all warm and tingly inside.
The reasons to celebrate continue on from National Smile Month to National Hug Your Cat Day (12th). If you are looking to do some good in terms of bringing attention to serious matters, May is National Mental Health, Physical Fitness, Hepatitis and Tourette Syndrome Awareness month.
Hugging your cat should not be a one day thing, and wearing two different colored shoes can bring laughs and start conversations (National Two Different Colored Shoes Day-3rd). Gear up for the summer doing things you love, planned or spontaneously, bringing attention to the issues that affect you most, all while finding peace, happiness and a sense of freedom in the process.