The United Nations announced the year 1994 as the International Year of Families. The announcement was a response to changing social and economic structures, which affected, and still affect, the structure and stability of families in many regions around the world.International Day of Families Ever since 1994, May 15th has been celebrated as the International Day of Families, in order to remind all individuals, businesses, and governments alike that families are the center of society and provide a supporting, stable home for people of all ages.

Here are some primary points regarding family that the United Nations Social Policy and Development Division list in their mission statement:

–       The integration of a family perspective into policy-making at the national, regional and international levels must be promoted

–       Family research and diagnostic studies need to be supported

–       There must be continuous dialogue with Governments, civil society and the private sector on family issues

–       Coordination on family policies and programmes within national governments and within the United Nations system will be encouraged and supported

Policy meetings for public officials, exhibitions and organized discussions to raise awareness of the annual theme, educational sessions for children and young people, and the launch of campaigns that support families are common activities on the International Day of Families.

Although the definition and meaning of family varies greatly from one culture to another, and from one person to the next, family is a universal unit that all of us can relate to, in one way or another. Happy International Day of Families to you all!


Also in May:

World No-Tobacco Day – May 31st

International Day for UN Peacekeepers – May 29th

Africa Day – May 25th

The Day of Cyrillic Alphabet – May 24th

International Day for Biological Diversity – May 22nd

Cultural Diversity Day – May 21st

Cultural Diversity Day: A Special ‘Hello!’

World Day Against Homophobia – May 17th

World Telecommunications and Information Society Day – May 17th

Mastering the Art of Cheek Kissing

World Fair Trade Day – May 12th

Red Cross Crescent Day – May 8th

Europe Day – May 9th

Wesak – May 5th

World Press Freedom Day – May 3rd

May Day – May 1st

Today is World Fair Trade Day!

The day is an initiative of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) and is being supported by thousands of citizens, fair trade organizations, social and environmental movements, and producers and consumers all around the planet.Fair Trade Day In the world economy, in important decision-making, and in business, the interests of small farmers are often forgotten. World Fair Trade Organization aims “to enable producers to improve their livelihoods and communities through Fair Trade,” by keeping their voices heard.

Today is Europe Day, a day to celebrate peace and unity in Europe! Earlier in the week, May 5thwas a day designated to the Council of Europe, whereas today’s date designates the European Union.

Europe Day

Unity in Diversity - the EU Flag

Europe Day is simply an observance day and it’s not a public holiday. It is a political event, nevertheless, and the day attempts to teach people more about the ways in which the EU works and to speak in support of European integration.

Today’s date marks the birthday of Henry Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross, and the recipient of the world’s first Nobel Price. Today, May 8th, is the World Red Cross Crescent Day, and days from May 6th to 12th mark an annual Red Cross week.Red Cross Crescent Day

Today, Red Cross has approximately 97 million volunteers, members, and staff members world wide. National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies exist in nearly every country in the world…

Wesak – May 5th

Wesak (or Vesak) is one of the most important Buddhist holidays. It is always celebrated during full moon in May, which this year falls onto May 5th.


Enlightened Buddha

Wesak celebrates the birthday, enlightenment, and death of the Buddha. The death of the Buddha is not a sad occasion because it simply marks the day when the Buddha finally reached Nirvana, a heavenly state where there is no pain or suffering…

Today is World Press Freedom Day. On 2011, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,
 Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and 
Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General all declared in a joint-message that:

World Press Freedom Day


“Violations of fundamental human rights cannot go unanswered. State authorities must do everything to counter impunity and to protect the safety of journalists. We will never forget the courage of journalists who paid with their lives for our right to know. ”

World Press Freedom Day was established to highlight Article 19 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

May Day is significant in many different ways. First, May Day, also known as the International Workers’ Day, is a celebration of the labor movement and other left-wing movements.

Maypole Dancing from

Maypole Dancing from

International Workers’ Day originated in 1886 when workers around the world gathered to demonstrate against impossible working hours and to demand the 8-hour working day. Before this movement it was common for factory workers to work 10-16 hours a day in dangerous, unhealthy conditions. These demonstrations soon achieved their goal and the 8-hour working day was made an official policy. Therefore, in some countries, International Workers’ Day is not only celebrated by labour unions, but by all workers because (setting its socialist roots aside) the day has come to symbolize social justice and international labor rights. Traditional celebrations for International Workers’ Day usually include public demonstrations and organized street marches.