I love the month of May. It’s one of my 12 favorite months. Flowers are blooming. Summer is around the corner. And the air is thick with the sweet aroma of fresh-cut grass (not from my yard, mind you – I usually wait until mid-August to break out the mower – or whenever my wife gets fed up and threatens to make us visit her relatives for a week – whichever comes first).
May is also the time of year when I polish up my golf clubs and head out for my first – and in most years, last – round of golf. That’s because by the seventh hole, I usually remember why I hate that miserable, cruel, soul-crushing sport.
But perhaps one of my favorite aspects of this month involves all the fun holidays that are observed. Of course, there are the major holidays like Star Wars Day on May 4th (so named because then you can say “May the 4th be with you”).
Right on the heels of Star Wars Day comes the always festive holiday Cinco de Mayo, observed on May 5th. I’m not sure what this holiday was originally meant to celebrate. I’m guessing something to do with Mexico’s longstanding love affair with mayonnaise as a condiment.
Then there’s Mother’s Day. But that holiday is only celebrated by people who have moms. Feel free to skip that minor holiday – unless you have a mom or are married to one, in which case, you’d better not forget the date like I did last year. My wife still hasn’t forgiven me. In my defense, the Goodyear 400 NASCAR race was on Fox Sports so I had a very full plate that day.
What many people may not know is that May has several other slightly more obscure holidays every bit as fun as Cinco de Mayonnaise and Start Wars Day. If you’re looking for reasons to play hooky, why not tell your boss you won’t be able to make it into work because you’re celebrating one of these lesser known holidays? Here are just a few of my favorite actual honest-to-God May holidays:
No Pants Day (May 5th)
Celebrated on the first Friday in May, the origin of this holiday dates back to the 1980s. Like most great holidays, it was started by a bunch of drunk college kids (in this case, from the University of Texas) as a prank. It celebrates the freedom from having to conform to a society that requires men to wear pants. It first appeared when a bunch of UT students decided to take off their pants right after finals and parade around campus in their underwear.
Surprisingly, not one of the students who instigated this craze has ever won a Nobel Prize – although several apparently went on to distinguished careers as members of the Texas State Legislature. While you’re not legally required to get totally hammered, if you really want to get into the spirit of this holiday, experts say getting sloshed helps. If you’ve never previously tried alcohol, this might be an excellent day to start.
National Talk Like Yoda Day (May 21st)
This holiday was first created in 2003, inspired by the Jedi master’s wisdom and wit. Fans celebrate this important annual tradition by coming together and mimicking the way Yoda talks. On this day, you’ll hear people all over the world – and by “people” I mean males in their twenties who haven’t had a date in a long time – speaking words of supposed great intellect using Yoda’s unusual, high-pitched voice and convoluted sentence structure.
I have to say, it’s highly amusing talking like Yoda. I celebrated this special day last year by asking my wife questions in the style of the diminutive Star Wars character incessantly all day long. I remember it clearly, because that’s the day she screamed in frustration, “Oh my God. I’m married to a seven-year-old!” To which I eruditely replied, “My talking this way annoying you, dear, is it?” Then she made me sleep on the couch. A fan of Yoda not everyone is, concluded have I.
National Lost Sock Memorial Day (May 9th)
Some geniuses decided it was a brilliant idea to set aside one day each year to commemorate all the socks we’ve lost over the decades. What happened to them? How did they meet their tragic fate? Will they ever be reunited in sock heaven?
Now there’s an actual holiday to help us honor the memory of these dear departed feet coverings. Even though this holiday technically falls in May, I’ve found that whenever I accidentally show up for a formal, special occasion wearing one black sock and one dark blue one, I simply mention that I’m doing my small part to mourn the loss of two pairs of socks. People rarely ask me any follow-up questions… and usually slowly back away from me.
As much as I love the month of May, in some ways, I love June every bit as much. After all, it’s hard to beat a month that has a holiday called National Chocolate Ice Cream Day (June 7th). I’d better put that date on my calendar before I forget. Looks like someone’s not going to be able to make it into work that day.
That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.
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