List of Important Days in May


General Awareness section is one of the important sections in any competitive exam. The static part of General Knowledge weighs more than 50% of the General Awareness section, therefore, one has to focus on its various sub-topics and Important Days is one such sub-topic. Have a look at the detailed list of Important Days in May. The list has been prepared keeping in mind the type of question that can be asked from this sub-topic.

 

1. International Labour Day/ International Workers’ Day: 1 May

  •  May 1 is observed every year as International Workers' Day.
  • It is celebrated every year to pay tribute to the contribution of workers around the world.
  • It was on May 1, 1886 that the working class of America came together and rebelled against the unjust system. That is why May Day or International Workers' Day is celebrated every year.
  • It is also celebrated as May Day. May Day has different origin stories in different countries. However, the common theme in all countries is exploitation against the working class.
  • In India, the first May Day was celebrated in Madras on 1 May 1923 by the Labor Farmers Party of Hindustan. It was also the first time a red flag was used in India as a symbol of Labor Day.
  • Theme 2020: “Maintaining safety and security at the workplace”
  • Theme 2019: “Uniting Workers for Social and Economic Advancement”

 

2. World Press Freedom Day: 3 May

  • Every year on 3rd May, World Press Freedom Day is celebrated to recognize the contribution of the media personnel in upholding the values of fair journalism.
  • The day aims to create awareness regarding the importance of freedom of the press which is part of Right to freedom of expression under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948.
  • The day also marks the anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration.
  • On this occasion, UNESCO give away the UNESCO/ Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize to individuals, organisations or institutions for their outstanding contribution in promotion/defence of press freedom.
  • Theme 2020: “Journalism without fear or favour”
  • Theme 2019: “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Election in Times of Disinformation”

 

3. World Laughter Day: 3 May

  • World Laughter Day is an annual event celebrated on the first Sunday of May. In the year 2020, it is being celebrated on May 3.
  • The day aims to create awareness about laughter and its healing benefits.
  • It also supports Laughter Clubs, who regularly practice simple laughter techniques that promote wellness.
  • The day was first celebrated on May 10, 1998, in Mumbai, India, and was organised by Dr. Madan Kataria.
  • He is the founder of the worldwide Laughter Yoga movement.
  • The health benefits of laughing are:
    • It relaxes whole body relieving physical tension and stress.
    • It enhances the immune system by decreasing stress hormones.
    • It improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, thereby protecting our heart.
    • If one laughs for 10 to 15 minutes a day, around 40 calories can be burnt.
    • It may even help you to live longer.
  • Theme 2019: “Spread Happiness”

 

4. International Firefighters’ Day: 4 May

  • International Firefighters’ Day (IFFD) is celebrated annually on 4 May.

International Firefighters Day

  • The day is observed to recognise and honour the sacrifices made by firefighters to ensure that their communities and environment remain safe.
  • The day also provide an opportunity to thank current and past firefighters for their contributions.

 

5. Coal Miners Day: 4 May

  • Coal Miners Day is celebrated annually on 4th May to highlight the conditions of people working in coal mines and appreciate their sacrifices and efforts.
  • Coal mining is one of the toughest and dangerous job.
  • Coal mining began in India in 1774 when East India Company started commercial exploitation in the Raniganj coalfield.
  • Coal is the most abundant fossil fuel on Earth. The four main varieties of coal are – Peat, Lignite, Bituminous, Anthracite.
  • Coal is used in power generation, production of steel and cement.
  • Theme 2019: “Highlight the toughest profession and the people working in coal mines”

 

6. World Asthma Day: 5 May

  • World Asthma Day is celebrated every year on the first Tuesday of May.
  • In the year 2020, World Asthma Day is observed on 5 May and is organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) every year since 1998.

World Asthma Day

  • The day aims to increase asthma awareness and care around the world.  
  • Theme 2020: “Enough Asthma Deaths”
  • Theme 2019: “STOP for Asthma”

 

7. World Red Cross Day: 8 May

  • World Red Cross Day is observed every year on 8th May to recognise the contribution of the volunteers helping people in need.
  • The day marks the birth anniversary of Henry Dunant, the founder of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the recipient of the first Nobel Peace Prize. 
  • The seven fundamental principles recognised during this day are impartiality, independence, voluntary, humanity, neutrality, universality and unity.
  • Theme 2019: “#Love”

 

8. World Thalassaemia Day: 8 May

  • Ever year on 8th May World Thalassaemia Day is celebrated to create awareness regarding this disease and to encourage those who struggle to live with this disease.
  • Thalassaemia is a genetic disease that passes from parents to their offspring. Its symptoms start appearing 3-4 months after the birth of the child.
  • People suffering from Thalassaemia have less haemoglobin than normal, which leads to anemia. Red blood cells have a lifespan of 120 days. But due to this disease, the age of red blood cells remains for only 20 days. Because of this, they need blood after a few days in case of severe anemia.
  • The symptoms of Thalassaemia include chest pain, shortness of breath, delayed growth, jaundice and pale skin, headaches, etc.
  • Theme 2020: “The dawning of a new era for thalassaemia: Time for a global effort to make novel therapies accessible and affordable to patients”
  • Theme 2019: “Universal Access to Quality Thalassaemia Healthcare Services: Building bridges with for patient”

 

9. National Technology Day: 11 May

  • National Technology Day is celebrated on 11 May every year in India.
  • This year, this day is being celebrated with the theme of “Rebooting the economy through science and technology.”
  • The conference organized for this will include scientists, technocrats, diplomats, WHO officials and dignitaries from members of national and international industries, research institutes and educational institutions.
  • National Technology Day is celebrated to celebrate the achievements of innovations and technological excellence in the country.
  • Pokharan nuclear test was done on this day in 1998, in honor of which every year since the year 1999, this day is celebrated. Also, the first indigenous aircraft ‘Hansa-3’ was successfully tested and also Trishul missile was test fired on this day by DRDO.

 

10. International Nurses Day: 12 May

  • Every year on 12 May, International Nurses Day is celebrated to mark the contribution of nurses to the society.
  • Theme 2020: “Nurses: A Voice to Lead-Nursing the World to Health.”
  • International Nurses Day is celebrated to commemorate Florence Nightingale's birthday.
  • Florence Nightingale, a British social reformer and statistician and founder of modern nursing. She was born on 12 May 1820 in Florence, Italy.
  • Theme 2019: “Nurses- A Voice to lead- Health for All”

 

11. International Day of families: 15 May

  •  International Day of Families is observed every year on 15 May.
  • The theme of International Day of Families 2020 is "Families in Development: Copenhagen and Beijing + 25".
  • This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Copenhagen Declaration and the Beijing Platform for Action.
  • Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995) has been called the most progressive blueprint for advancing women's rights.
  • The Copenhagen Declaration is concerned with the reforms implemented by the European Convention on the Human Rights System.
  • This day was declared a day of international importance by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 under Resolution A / RES / 47/237.
  • Theme 2019: “Families and Climate Action: focus on SDG13”.

 

12. International Day of Living Together in Peace: 16 May

  • International Day of Living Together in Peace is observed every year on 16 May since 2018.
  • In 2017, the UNGA passed a resolution and declared this day to promote peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding, and solidarity across the world.

 

13. World Telecommunication and Information Society Day: 17 May

  • World Telecommunication Day (WTD) was celebrated every year on 17 May since 1969. On 17 May 1865, International Telecommunication Unit (ITU) was founded when the first International Telegraph Convention was signed in Paris.
  • The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) asked the UNGA in 2005 to declare 17 May as World Information Society Day (WISD).
  • In 2006, both celebrations were combined as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD).

World Telecommunication and information society day

  • The day is celebrated to create raise awareness regarding the role that could be played by Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) in bringing new possibilities to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide.
  • Theme 2020: “Connect 2030: ICTs for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)‚Äč”
  • Theme 2019: “Bridging the standardisation gap”

 

14. World Hypertension Day: 17 May

  • World Hypertension Day is celebrated every year on 17 May by World Hypertension League (WHL) to increase awareness about high blood pressure among the population across the globe.
  • The theme for 2020 is “Measure Your Blood Pressure, Control It, Live Longer”.
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure is a serious condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries increases persistently. Hypertension increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and blindness.

World Hypertension Day

  • It is one of the main causes of premature deaths globally. Fewer than 1 in 5 people who have hypertension have it under control.
  • The WHL has postponed the celebration of World Hypertension Day (WHD) 2020 until October 17, 2020, due to global COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Theme 2019: “Know your numbers”

 

15. National Endangered Species Day: Third Friday of May

Endangered Species Day

  • In order to spread awareness regarding the conservation of endangered species, National Endangered Species Day is observed on third Friday of May annually.
  • This year the day is observed on 15 May 2020.
  • This day also help in reviewing the status of animals under threat of extinction and the impact of climate change on their ecosystem.
  • An Endangered species is an organism that is under the threat of extinction.
  • Loss of Habitat and Loss of genetic variation are the two main reasons leading to extinction.  
  • Some of the endangered species in India are Asiatic Lion, Bengal Tiger, Snow Leopard, Kashmiri Red Stag, One-horned rhinoceros, etc.

 

16. World AIDS Vaccine Day: 18 May

  • World AIDS Vaccine Day is celebrated every year on 18 May. The first official celebration took place on 18 May 1998. 
  • The day is observed to create awareness about AIDS and need for its vaccine. Till now, no vaccine has been made to curb this disease. 
  • Globally, around 36.7 million people have HIV. 
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a global epidemic that infects humans and with time causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in which immune system of a person fails progressively allowing life threatening diseases to attack. 
  • Theme 2019: “Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Community by Community”.

 

17. International Museum Day: 18 May

  • International Museum Day is celebrated on 18 May each year.
  • The day marks the basis of the prejudices of the international museum community every year.
  • The International Council of Museums presented International Museum Day in 1977.
  • Each year a theme is selected for International Museum Day.
  • Theme 2020: “Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion”.
  • Theme 2019: “Museum as cultural hubs: The future of tradition”.

 

18. World Metrology Day: 20 May

  • World Metrology Day is celebrated every year on 20 May as on this day in 1875, the representatives of seventeen nations signed the Metre Convention.
  • The World Metrology Day project is realized jointly by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) and the International Organisation of Legal Metrology (OIML).
  • The theme for World Metrology Day 2020 is "Measurements for global trade".
  • Metrology is the branch of science dedicated to measurement.

 

19. Anti-Terrorism Day: 21 May

  • Anti-Terrorism Day is observed across India on 21 May.
  • The day is celebrated to spread the message of peace and humanity and to promote unity among the people.
  • It is celebrated to commemorate the death anniversary of one of the eminent Prime Ministers of India, Rajiv Gandhi.
  • Rajiv Gandhi became the youngest Prime Minister of the country at the age of 40.
  • He was the sixth Prime Minister of India.
  • Rajiv Gandhi served as Prime Minister from 1984 to 1989. He died in May 1991 in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu.

 

20. International Tea Day: 21 May 

  • United Nations General Assembly on 21 December 2019, adopted a resolution to celebrate 21 May as the International Tea Day.
  • The day is celebrated to creare awareness of the history and deep cultural and economic significance of tea globally. 
  • Tea is made from the Camellia sinesis plant and is the world's most consumed drink after water. 
  • Tea industry being labour intensive provide jobs and is a main source of income for some of the poorest countries. 
  • Tea Production and processing contributes to SDG-1 (Reduction of Extreme Poverty), SDG-2 (Fight against Hunger), SDG-5 (Women Empowerment) and SDG-15 (Sustainable use of Terrestrial Ecosystems).
  • Theme 2020: "Harnessing benefits for all from field to cup"

 

21. International Day of Biodiversity: 22 May

  • International Day of Biodiversity is observed every year on 22 May.
  • The theme of 2020 International Day of Biodiversity - "Our solutions are in nature".
  • It is a United Nations-approved international day to create awareness regarding biodiversity issues.
  • The day falls within the ambit of the Sustainable Development Goals of the Post-2015 Development Agenda of the United Nations.
  • International Biodiversity Day was first observed in the year 2000.

 

22. Commonwealth Day: 24 May

  • Every year Commonwealth Day is celebrated in India on 24th May.
  • Countries like UK, Australia and Canada celebrate the day on the second Monday of March.
  • Commonwealth Day is observed to mark the birth anniversary of Queen Victoria, who was born on May 24, 1819.
  • Initially, it was named as Empire Day but in 1958, it was announced by the British Parliament that the day will be renamed as Commonwealth Day.
  • Commonwealth Day 2020 theme is ‘Delivering a Common Future’.

 

23. International Day of UN Peacekeepers: 29 May

  • International Day of UN Peacekeepers is observed every year on 29 May to recognize the contribution of uniformed and civilian personnel to peacekeeping.
  • The day also honour more than 3,900 peacekeepers who have lost their lives while serving the organization since its inception in 1948.
  • UNGA passed a resolution 57/129 to designate 29 May as the International Day of UN Peacekeepers to mark the establishment of the first UN Peacekeeping mission on 29 May 1948.
  • Theme 2020: “Women in Peacekeeping: A key to Peace”
  • The UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award 2019 has been presented jointly to women peacekeepers from India and Brazil.
  • For the first time, the award is being presented jointly.
  • Major Suman Gawani of the Indian Army and Commander Carla Monteiro de Castro Araujo of the Brazilian Navy will be honoured with this award.

 

24. World No Tobacco Day: 31 May

  • Every year on 31 May, World No Tobacco Day is observed to create awareness regarding the dangers of using tobacco and what people can do to claim their right to health.
  • World Health Assembly created World No Tobacco Day by passing a resolution in 1987.
  • According to WHO, tobacco use kills more than 8 million people around the world each year.
  • 2020 Theme: "Protecting Youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use"

 

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