May Observances

There are several holidays and observances this month that we want to highlight.

Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month: May is Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, a time to celebrate and recognize the contributions and achievements of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. The origins of Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month date back to 1978, and in 1990, the observance was expanded to a month-long celebration.

Jewish American Heritage Month: The month is a time to celebrate the contributions and achievements of Jewish Americans to the United States. This celebration was first established in 2006 by President George W. Bush as a way to recognize the rich history, culture, and traditions of Jewish Americans.

Mental Health Awareness Month: First began in 1949 as Mental Health Week. In 1955, it was expanded to a month-long observance by the National Association of Mental Health (now known as Mental Health America). The month is dedicated to raising awareness and understanding of mental health issues. It is an opportunity to educate ourselves and others about the importance of mental health and to encourage individuals to seek help when needed.

Older Americans Month: This is annual celebration highlights the contributions and achievements of older adults in the country. The tradition first started in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy declared May as Senior Citizens Month and was later renamed to Older Americans Month by President Jimmy Carter in 1980. It is a time to celebrate their achievements, recognize their contributions, and come together as a community to support them.

Cinco de Mayo: Spanish for May 5th, this day commemorates the Mexican Army’s victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Cinco de Mayo has become a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, and is widely celebrated in many parts of the United States. It’s a time to enjoy delicious Mexican food, music, and dance, and to honor the resilience and strength of the Mexican people.

International Day Against Homophobia: This day is observed annually on May 17th and was created to raise awareness of the discrimination and violence faced by LGBTQ+ individuals around the world. It encourages individuals, regardless of gender or orientation, to reflect on the progress that has been made towards equality, and to remind them of the work that must continue in the fight for equality and acceptance.

Memorial Day: Observed annually on the last Monday in May, this holiday honors and remembers the men and women who have lost their lives while serving in the United States military. Memorial Day has been observed since the end of the Civil War and serves as a time to reflect on those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country.

The City of Goleta encourages all community members to celebrate the holidays and practices they observe and to also learn more about the ones they may not be familiar with.