Today is celebrated as a big spring (or even beginning-of-summer) festival in some places in the world. May Day features baskets of flowers, floral gifts, and dancing around a maypole. (To find out more, check out last year's post.)
But it is also Labor Day or Workers' Day in a variety of countries, Youth and Sports Day in Cyprus, Agriculture Day in Haiti, and Mother Goose Day goodness-knows-where. Finally, in the U.S., it is Law Day, Lei Day, Loyalty Day, and Save the Rhino Day.
Wow! So much to celebrate!
So...how come we haven't heard of some of these so-called holidays?
Well, as far as I can tell, Law Day and Loyalty Day were concocted by the U.S. government to offset Labor Day/Workers' Day commemorations elsewhere in the world. These new U.S. holidays were based on wanting to affirm loyalty to nation and the importance of the rule of law.... But neither of these topics particularly lend themselves to getting together with family and eating special meals. So I'm not surprised that the holidays didn't really take off with the general public.
As for Mother Goose Day and Save the Rhino Day, today is supposed to be a day to honor Mother Goose nursery rhymes and to learn about some of the most endangered species in the world, rhinoceroses—but I couldn't seem to spot any info on why these dates were chosen, much less any descriptions of activities and celebrations.
But Lei Day IS celebrated in Hawaii. A lei is a garland or wreath of flowers (or sometimes shells). They are usually draped around the neck, and leis are often presented when a visitor comes or leaves, or to celebrate an event such as a graduation or birthday. On this day there are lei-making workshops and contests, a Lei Queen is crowned, and events such as pageants, hula contests, and concerts are held. On Lei Day in 2008, people in Honolulu worked together to set a record for World's Longest Lei—making a lei that measured more than a mile in length!