From the south of the border to the south of France to Saint St Petersburg, Musement takes a look at ten festivals and events happening around the world this May.
May ushers in a slew of exciting festivities. Here’s a look at ten events happening around the world in May 2019.
1. May 1: May Day, Europe
This public holiday celebrated mostly across Europe is rooted deeply in antiquity. Today, dozens of countries celebrate in their own particular way, from savoring fava beans and pecorino in Italy to jumping over fires in Bulgaria to weaving flower wreaths in Greece.
2. May 3 – 5: Hamamatsu Kite Festival, Japan
This local festival celebrates the year’s newborn babies and the highlight is a kite festival–it’s believed the higher the kite flies, the longer the baby will live.
3. May 5: Cinco de Mayo, Mexico
Cinco de Mayo, which literally translates to the fifth of May, celebrates Mexico’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla, near Puebla City, in 1862. To commemorate this historic milestone, Mexico hosts a number of parades of historical reenactments. In other parts of the world, Mexican restaurants usually offer specials in honor of the holiday.
4. May 9 – 12: Cheung Chau Bun Festival, Hong Kong
This annual festival occurs on its namesake island in Hong Kong during the fourth lunar month. Dedicated to the god Pak Tai, who saved the city from a plague, the festival always coincides with the Buddha’s birthday. The signature component: bamboo towers adorned with handmade buns.
5. May 12: Mother’s Day, Global
With the exception of the UK, Mother’s Day tends to be celebrated on the second Sunday of May. Different countries have different ways of honoring mom, all united by the love for the matriarchal female figures in our lives.
6. May 14 – May 25: The Cannes Film Festival
This festival dedicated to the “seventh art” is not only one of the most important in the world, Cannes is a place for the international film cognoscenti to see and be seen. If you happen to be in town and want a break from the glitz and glamour, there are plenty of ways to enjoy this gorgeous city on the French Riviera.
7. May 23 – 26: The Monaco Grand Prix
8. May 23 – July 29: The White Nights Festival, Saint Petersburg
To literature fans, the term “White Nights” is synonymous with Dostoevsky. To others, it indicates the nights when the sun barely sets. From ballet performances to art exhibits to the Scarlet Sails Show, Saint Petersburg boasts an exciting culture-filled line-up for the White Nights Festival that culminates in July.
9. May 27: Memorial Day, America
The last Monday of May has become known as the end of a long weekend that officially kicks off summer. However, the real purpose of the holiday is to remember those who died while serving in the Armed Forces.
10. Cooper Hill Cheese Rolling Festival, Gloucestershire
This cheese rolling tradition has taken place since the 19th century, and while it had been halted for a few years due to safety concerns, it’s back. Several dozen people chase a cheese wheel down a steep hill and the winner takes home a whole lot of cheese. There’s a lot of tumbling and stumbling, so if you are participating, be safe!