May has a lot of observances and awareness connections. I decided to write about some of them. There are of course many other observances during May, so here is the list from Wiki if you want to explore more. I am by no means an expert on any of these, so please research more on your own if you find yourself interested.
May is set aside for the awareness of several diseases and causes.
Celiac (or Coeliac) disease is a autoimmune disease where the small intestine can not properly digest gluten. It causes damage to the lining of villi, which help digest nutrients. It can range from discomfort to great pain and other health problems. This disease is probably getting more known due to gluten-free diet trends. Gluten can be found in wheat, Rye and Barley. It is a genetic disorder as well, so it runs in families.
Cystic Fibrosis is a serious genetic disorder that effects the major organs, particularly the lungs. It is caused by a recessive gene mutation, which causes secretions like sweat, digestive fluids and particularly mucus to become thicker. There is no cure for Cystic Fibrosis, just treatments to treat the symptoms.
Mental Health Awareness Month
Awareness of Mental Heath issues is very important. Misinformation, ignorance of treatment and other factors have led to people not getting the treatment they need, or choosing to refuse treatment because they don’t’ want to be treated poorly for having a mental health issue. While societal views on mental illness have improved over the last few decades,we have far to go till its treated like any physical illness.
National Month Observances
National Pet Month (US)
National Pet Month is basically a month to recognize the benefits that pets bring to our lives. It is observed in April in the UK and in May in the US. It also promotes pet adoption, and animal health.
Flores de Mayo
Flores de Mayo is a month long celebration in the Philippines. It has its roots in Catholic devotions to Mary including daily offering of flowers. On the last day of the month a pageant is held called the Santacruzan which honors events in Catholic history. In particular, it celebrates the finding of the true cross by St. Helena. Young women search for a hidden cross after attending a mass and the one who finds it is designated as Reyna Elena (St. Helena).
Single Day/Week Observances
Cinco de Mayo (May 5)
Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican-American holiday. In Mexico, it is a day of observance on a a military victory over French Occupation. It is usually observed with military parades. In the United States however it has become a day to celebrate Mexican-AMerican culture. There is debate on the ethical points of Cinco de Mayo in the United States, however, due to the fact that it was originally a Mexican holiday and the US celebration has nothing to do with the original Mexican. Also it has a tendency to promote stereotypes and racial issues.
International Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness Day (May 12)
Chronic Fatigue affects many people, though many go undiagnosed. Sometimes it is a side effect of another illness, but it can be an issue on its own. It is often hard to diagnose as there is no blood or lab test that can detect it. Awareness and research can bring more answers to the cause of Chronic Fatigue
Mother’s Day (May 14 in US)
There are several countries that celebrate Mother’s Day, and its on several different days of the month. However, since I live in the US I choose to note the date that the US is celebrating. I’ll be posting a separate post about this one when the day arrives.
Endangered Species Day (May 19)
Endangered Species day is a day to recognize the efforts that are out there to protect the wildlife on our planet. Many species have been lost in the last few decades alone, and there are many organizations out there trying to prevent more species from going from endangered to extinct.
Ramadan (May 26-June 25)
Ramadan is a religious observance by Muslims, and this year will start May 26/27. I am by far no expert on Islamic traditions, so I do recommend googling Ramadan and finding out more on your own. Ramadan is a religious rite that occurs for a month. It involves daily fasting and focusing on the Quran, their holy book.