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According to a saying, April showers bring May flowers.

May has a plethora of holidays that will inspire you to appreciate the beauty of late spring, if you weren't already itching to get outside and take in everything that Mother Nature has to offer.

The month of May is ideal for taking a nature walk in your neighborhood. Even though you're going to be outside having fun, take a moment to consider how you feel within.

These enjoyable, imaginative, and significant holidays will enable you to fully enjoy the springtime.

Learn more: 2024 Canada Calendar: Special Days, Full List of Public Holidays and Celebrations

May 2024 Canada Calendar: Special Days, Full List of National and International Events
May 2024 Canada Calendar: Special Days, Full List of National and International Events

May 2024 Calendar: Special Days, National and International Events Happening in Canada

May 1 - May Day

Unions and other organizations decided to hold annual strikes on May 1. About 150,000 people went on strike on May Day between 1881 and 1884; as the movement gained popularity, that number rose. Two hundred and fifty thousand people attended the event in 1885. About 600,000 workers went on strike in 1886 in support of an eight-hour workday.

In the past, May Day was associated with paganism, the natural world, and the worship of the sun or other natural forces. Numerous customary May Day events, like maypole dancing and morris dancing, have their roots in antiquated fertility rites or sun worship.

May 2 - World Tuna Day

The goal of World Tuna Day is to increase public awareness of the value of tuna to the world's oceans and the populations that rely on it for their food and way of life. This day also serves as a reminder of the necessity of sustainable management techniques for maintaining the long-term well-being of ocean ecosystems and tuna populations.

The UN General Assembly designated May 2 as World Tuna Day in 2016, which is when World Tuna Day originated in Canada. This choice was made in recognition of the significant contribution tuna makes to both the global food chain and the financial stability of many coastal communities. Since then, Canada has joined the rest of the world in commemorating this day to show support for scientific research, sustainable tuna fishing, and the prudent management of tuna stocks.

Given that Atlantic bluefin tuna is a highly prized species that is fished for both commercial and recreational purposes in Canadian waters, Canada has a major stake in the global tuna market. In order to protect tuna populations for future generations, Canada must thus take part in initiatives to guarantee sustainable tuna fishing methods. In Canada, World Tuna Day serves as a reminder of how important it is to practice responsible management and conservation.

May 2024 UK Calendar: Special Days, Full List of National and International Events May 2024 UK Calendar: Special Days, Full List of National and International Events

May 3 - Orthodox Good Friday

For many Orthodox Christians in Canada, Great Friday is a strict fasting day. Good Friday liturgies in some Orthodox churches may take place in the afternoons or evenings and may involve processions. In order to recreate traditional funeral customs, some priests take Jesus icons off of crosses and cover them in linen. Additionally, some women cover their heads during the liturgies on Holy Friday. As part of their Easter preparations, many Orthodox Christian families might dedicate a portion of their Great Friday to decorating Easter eggs.

May 3 - World Press Freedom Day

Publications that report on news are still subject to censorship and suspension in a few different countries worldwide. When they look into and report on the stories they pursue, journalists are frequently attacked, harassed, and arrested.

Governments restrict the freedom of expression of the press and information access for their citizens. This day assists the UN in assessing the level of press freedom in various nations and serves as a reminder to governments of their responsibility to uphold press freedom.

On World Press Freedom Day, news channels that have been outlawed or censored by their governments are supported, and discussions about ethics and concerns pertaining to press freedom are encouraged among journalists and media professionals.

May 4 - Star Wars Day

Star Wars Day can pass by without you noticing it to the untrained eye. For fans of the 1977 film series that started in a galaxy far, far away, today is a special day. Even now, new television series and movies are being added to the already expansive cinematic universe.

When a memorable catchphrase coincided with a specific day of the year, Star Wars Day was created. Saying "May the force be with you," or "Good Luck" in an astronomical sense, is a customary Jedi farewell. That sentence has an uncanny resemblance to May 4. The Star Wars community observed "May the Fourth be with You" as an annual holiday after making that connection.

May 4 - Free Comic Book Day

Free Comic Book Day
Free Comic Book Day

Every year on the first Saturday in May, comic book stores all over the world and in North America participate in Free Comic Book Day, a single day when they give away free comic books to anyone who walks into their stores. Each comic book store is unique, and the selection varies.

The largest comic book celebration, Free Comic Book Day, is a fantastic opportunity to check out new comic book genres! It's the ideal time to check out what your neighborhood comic book store is carrying, read new comics, encourage kids to read, and enjoy time with your neighbors! Meet a range of comic book enthusiasts as well as people who are just getting started with comics. Visit the participating comic book store in your area for an enjoyable and memorable day!

May 5 - Orthodox Easter

It is not a public holiday on Orthodox Easter. It happens on Sunday, May 5, 2024, and most Canadian businesses are open on Sundays as usual.

In Canada, Pascha is observed by Orthodox Christians on the Julian calendar's Easter date. The Orthodox Church's most significant event on the calendar is Pascha. A large number of Orthodox Christians participate in church liturgies during Holy Week, which concludes on Easter Sunday. The Easter Sunday church service is a joyful celebration of the Christian bible's account of Jesus Christ's resurrection.

Strict fasting is also observed during Lent, the period leading up to Easter. In Canada, Orthodox Christians follow this fasting custom before enjoying a feast on Easter Sunday that allows them to eat meat and dairy again. The blessing of food baskets is another custom practiced in Orthodox churches. Bread, cheese, meat, eggs, butter, salt, and other foods used for Paschal celebrations are typically found inside the baskets.

May 5 - Cinco de Mayo

There's another day to celebrate on the following day. The date, which translates to May 5th, is also the name of the celebration. This holiday honors the historic Mexican victory over French invaders on May 5, 1862, at the Battle of Puebla.

The majority of Mexican-Americans in the US now celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Today is a day to honor Mexican ancestry and culture. The food, dancing, and music are all of the greatest quality.

Celebrate this holiday even if you are not of Mexican descent. Seek out opportunities to show your community's Mexican-American community members some support, such as by dining at their family-run restaurants and attending any parades or events with grace.

May 5 - Yom HaShoah: Holocaust Remembrance Day

May 2024 Canada Calendar: Special Days, Full List of National and International Events
Yom HaShoah: Holocaust Remembrance Day

On the 27th day of the month of Nisan, many people in Canada, including those with Jewish connections or ancestry, observe Yom Hashoah. A lot of Jewish communities commemorate the victims of the Holocaust who perished in World War II with ceremonies or events.

The scroll and liturgical reading for Yom HaShoah, known as Megillat HaShoah, were created by the Masorti (Conservative Judaism) movement in Israel. Jewish leaders in the US, Canada, and Israel are working together on this. On Yom Hashoah, synagogues across Canada hold services with varying rituals. Memorial candle lighting and the recitation of the Kaddish, a prayer for the deceased, are two possible activities.

This time of year, educational programs are shown that focus on the historical events related to Yom Hashoah, especially for students studying Jewish history. These events could involve watching a movie with a Holocaust theme or watching a documentary telling the testimonies of Holocaust survivors. Certain programs may come with guidelines and teaching resources.

May 6 - Mental Health Week Starts

Dispelling the stigma attached to mental illness and raising public awareness of the importance of mental health are the two main objectives of Mental Health Week. Since millions of people worldwide suffer from mental health issues that negatively affect their relationships and daily lives, this observance is especially important. Mental Health Week encourages Canadians to be more conscious of their own mental health and opens up conversations about mental health in order to make sure that people feel supported and understood in their struggles.

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), which created the concept of a week devoted to mental health in Canada, observed the first National Mental Health Week in 1951. Since then, it has grown into an annual event that emphasizes the need for continuing conversations about mental health in the country. Talking about mental health is more crucial than ever because the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the mental health of many people. As a result, a lot of effort has been put forth by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and other organizations to increase awareness and improve access to mental health resources.

Every year, Canada celebrates Mental Health Week with a range of occasions and initiatives. Businesses, schools, and community organizations work together to plan workshops, seminars, and awareness campaigns that address different aspects of mental health. These programs facilitate the sharing of firsthand knowledge and information about resources that are available. In Canada, the first full week of May is designated as Mental Health Week each year. The event this year will take place from May 2 to May 8. We can all do our part as Canadians to disseminate information and ensure that everyone has a future filled with mental health.

May 2024 US Calendar: Important Days, Full List of National and International Events May 2024 US Calendar: Important Days, Full List of National and International Events

May 6 - Nurse Week

The purpose of National Nurses Week is to recognize and celebrate the vital roles that nurses play in the medical field. The purpose of this week-long event is to raise awareness of the difficulties, innovations, and accomplishments faced by the nursing profession while also showcasing the profession's compassion, dedication, and commitment to patient care. It is impossible to exaggerate how important it is to recognize nurses' achievements, given their critical role in delivering high-quality patient care and advancing public health.

Healthcare facilities, nursing associations, and educational institutions organize a variety of events and activities to commemorate National Nurses Week in Canada. It is customary to hold seminars, workshops, and award ceremonies in order to recognize exceptional nurses and give them chances to advance their careers. In Canada, May 7 is traditionally the start of Nurses Week, which ends on May 13 on International Nurses Day. The exact date honors Florence Nightingale's birth anniversary, a trailblazer in the nursing field who established the groundwork for contemporary nursing techniques.

May 7 - Teacher Appreciation Day

Every year on the first Tuesday in May, people celebrate Teacher Appreciation Day. It will be acknowledged on May 7, 2024. Every year, the first full week of May is also designated as Teacher Appreciation Week. It's a day to honor all of the dedicated educators and teachers in the nation.

Former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt addressed Congress in 1953, emphasizing the need for a day to honor and thank educators for their contributions. The first Teacher Appreciation Day was not observed until 1980. Teacher Appreciation Week began in 1984 when it was decided to dedicate an entire week to honoring teachers.

May 9 - Ascension Day

In Canada, Ascension Day is not observed as a federal public holiday. Public transportation, retail establishments, offices, and educational institutions all operate on regular schedules.

Some Christians in Canada go to church on Ascension Day so they can pray, sing hymns, and receive communion, also known as the Eucharist. This event is observed by a number of churches, such as the United Church of Canada and the Roman Catholic Church. Around this time of year, Sunday school students may learn the significance of Ascension Day.

May 12 - Mother's Day

Around the world, Mother's Day is observed at various times of the year. It always falls on the second Sunday of May for people who live in the United States. Although the exact weekend you should make plans varies from year to year, it's easy to remember the date number.

Being able to celebrate Mother's Day any way you choose is one of its best qualities. There isn't an overarching concept or guideline to adhere to. To show your mother your love and gratitude on this unique day is all that is required.

May 12 - International Nurses Day

On May 12, people everywhere celebrate International Nurses Day. The International Council of Nurses established Nurses Day, also known as Nurses Day, in 1974 to recognize the excellent work that nurses do.

The council designated May 12 as Nurses Day because it was Florence Nightingale's birthday and the last day of National Nurses Week, which began on May 6.

May 13 - Yom Ha'atzmaut

On Israel's Independence Day, numerous Jewish communities, organizations, and activity groups celebrate throughout Canada. A special Yom Ha'Atzmaut dance lesson for beginners may be offered during evening dance parties. Events take place in a variety of settings, such as Jewish temples, and attendees are treated to refreshments.

On or around Yom Ha'Atzmaut, Israeli musical groups may have special performances in cities like Vancouver or Toronto. There are occasionally "after parties" with speeches by well-known local leaders and social or networking opportunities.

May 15 - International Day of Families

The International Day of Families honors families as the cornerstones of society, fostering intergenerational solidarity, social cohesion, and equal opportunities. Governments, organizations, and people are reminded on this day of the importance of families in raising and safeguarding their members, particularly during difficult times. The International Day of Families honors the variety of forms and structures of families worldwide and promotes the creation and implementation of policies that enhance family well-being by highlighting the strength, resiliency, and support that families provide.

Communities all across Canada and the world are urged to unite on this day to commemorate the value of families and to work toward promoting and preserving the health, happiness, and cohesion of families. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of the critical role that families play in creating robust, dynamic societies, which in turn helps to create a more equitable and peaceful world for all. Every year on May 15th, the world observes International Day of Families.

May 18 - International Museum Day

May 18 is International Museum Day, a day to promote museum visits and enjoyment as well as awareness of the difficulties museums face and the need for community support to survive.

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) organizes the event and extends an invitation to museums worldwide to take part in the day's celebrations. ICOM encourages museums to interact with the public and educate them about the value of museums to society's advancement and education.

May 19 - Pentecost


In Canada, a lot of churches host special Pentecost services. During the services, biblical passages about the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus' disciples are read aloud. Certain churches have the ability to host special events at senior homes, like Pentecost services. In certain churches, hymns and poems honoring the Holy Spirit are recited or sung.

Activities for Sunday schools center on the accounts of Pentecost found in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. Games and puzzles, take-home worksheets summarizing the material covered in class, stained glass crafts, and coloring pages are among the activities.

May 20 - Victory Day

Celebrated in observance of Queen Victoria's birthday on the final Monday before May 25, Victoria Day is a federal public holiday in Canada. It is always the Monday that falls between the 18th and the 24th, inclusive, making it the penultimate Monday of May. This date also happens to be the official birthday of the Canadian sovereign in place at the moment. In Canada, it's sometimes considered the unofficial start of summer.

May 20 - Whit Monday

Many Christians in Canada commemorate the events that followed the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus' disciples, as recorded in the New Testament of the Christian Bible, on Whit Monday and Whit Sunday, also known as Pentecost.

Whit Monday is observed by the church through evening services and bible study sessions. Children may also learn in special Sunday school classes about the history and significance of Pentecost and Whit Monday. As part of Whitsun Week, or Whitsuntide, which also includes Whit Sunday, or Pentecost, many churches observe Whit Monday.

May 26 - Trinity Sunday

The threefold nature of God—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—is celebrated on Trinity Sunday. Trinity Sunday aims to deepen the Christian understanding of the idea, show appreciation for God's grace in the past, and ask for ongoing direction in the future. For many Christian denominations, including Lutherans, Catholics, and Anglicans, this is a significant occasion in their liturgical calendar.

The Cluniacs, a reformist movement within the Roman Catholic Church's Benedictine Order, are credited with establishing Trinity Sunday in the tenth century. In the fourteenth century, the Catholic Church formally adopted the celebration, which had by then spread throughout Western Europe. Given the nation's multicultural and multilingual diversity, Trinity Sunday offers Canadian Christians a chance to consider the value of harmony and cooperation. The conversations and relationships both within and between Canada's various religious traditions are strengthened by this observance.

May 26 - Lag B'Omer

Many Jews in Canada celebrate Lag B'Omer with great joy, as it is the day when the customs of mourning that are observed during the Omer period are lifted. In Canada, a large number of Jewish communities observe Lag B'Omer by organizing various social gatherings. They are usually held outside, especially in sunny weather, and feature a bonfire.

A few of these events are street festivals, while others are customary family picnics or barbecues celebrating Lag B'Omer with live entertainment and music. In Canada, there are plenty of opportunities during the Lag B'Omer celebrations for adults to mingle and for kids to partake in enjoyable activities like visiting farm animals. Paintball games are a part of some Lag B'Omer celebrations that cater to younger audiences, like teenagers.

May 30 - Corpus Christi

Although it is observed in a few Anglican churches in Canada, Corpus Christi is primarily observed in the Roman Catholic Church. Around this time of year, some choirs perform Corpus Christi-themed music. Students may be taught about the background and significance of Corpus Christi in certain classes and learning activities offered by certain schools, especially Sunday schools and Catholic schools. Following a church service, some churches host social events and Corpus Christi processions.

On this day, a lot of Christians—especially those who practice Catholicism—take Communion. During Corpus Christi, some people—children in particular—receive their first Communion. Accepting consecrated bread and wine (or grape juice), which are regarded by Christians as the body and blood of Jesus Christ, is a custom known as the Eucharist. While some churches may celebrate Corpus Christi on the Sunday following Trinity Sunday, it usually occurs on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday.

May 2024 Calendar: Full List of National and International Events in Canada

  • 01WED

    May Day

  • 01WED

    Haitian Heritage Month HOLIDAY (OPCIONAL)

  • 01WED

    School Principals’ Day

  • 01WED

    National Physicians Day

  • 02THU

    World Password Day

  • 02THU

    Astronomy Day

  • 02THU

    International Harry Potter Day

  • 02THU

    World Tuna Day

  • 03FRI

    World Press Freedom Day

  • 03FRI

    National Montana Day

  • 04SAT

    Star Wars Day

  • 04SAT

    Free Comic Book Day

  • 05SUN

    Cinco de Mayo

  • 05SUN

    Yom HaShoah

  • 05SUN

    National Lemonade Day

  • 05SUN

    African World Heritage Day

  • 05SUN

    International Day of the Midwife

  • 05SUN

    World Portuguese Language Day

  • 07TUE

    National Child and Youth Mental Health Day

  • 08WED

    Victory in Europe Day

  • 08WED

    World Red Cross Day

  • 08WED

    National Receptionists Day

  • 08WED

    International Thalassaemia Day

  • 08WED

    Buddha Day

  • 08WED

    Check Your Skin Day

  • 08WED

    World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day

  • 09THU

    Ascension Day

  • 10FRI

    World Lupus Day

  • 11SAT

    Fair Trade Day

  • 11SAT

    World Migratory Bird Day

  • 12SUN

    Mother's Day

  • 12SUN

    National Limerick Day

  • 12SUN

    International Nurses Day

  • 13MON

    Yom Ha'atzmaut

  • 13MON

    world cocktail day

  • 15WED

    International Day of Families

  • 15WED

    National Pizza Party Day

  • 16THU

    International Day of Light

  • 17FRI

    Endangered Species Day

  • 17FRI

    World Hypertension Day

  • 17FRI

    Bike-to-Work Day

  • 18SAT

    International Museum Day

  • 18SAT

    World Whisky (Whiskey) Day

  • 19SUN


  • 19SUN

    World Baking Day

  • 20MON

    Victoria Day HOLIDAY

  • 20MON

    National Rescue Dog Day

  • 20MON

    Whit Monday

  • 20MON

    World Bee Day

  • 21TUE

    International Tea Day

  • 21TUE

    World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

  • 22WED

    International Day for Biological Diversity

  • 23THU

    World Turtle Day

  • 24FRI

    National Brother's Day

  • 24FRI

    National Scavenger Hunt Day

  • 24FRI

    World Schizophrenia Day

  • 25SAT

    National Wine Day

  • 25SAT

    National Missing Children’s Day

  • 26SUN

    Trinity Sunday

  • 26SUN

    National Paper Airplane Day

  • 27MON

    National Sunscreen Day

  • 28TUE

    National Brisket Day

  • 29WED

    International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers

  • 29WED

    National Golf Day

  • 30THU

    Corpus Christi

  • 30THU

    World Multiple Sclerosis Day

  • 31FRI

    World No Tobacco Day

May Weekly Holidays and Observances

  • National Nurses Week (May 6-12, every year)
  • Mental Health Week (May 6-12, every year)

  • Catholic Education Week (May 5-11)

  • Police Week (May 12-18)


When are the Nationwide Statutory Holidays in Canada?

New Year’s Day

The first day of the year according to the Gregorian calendar.

Good Friday

Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus on the Friday before Easter.

Canada Day

The founding of Canada's Confederation and dominion status in 1867 is commemorated on this holiday.

Labor Day

In Canada, Labor Day honors the achievements of the American Labor Movement and is observed on the first Monday in September.

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