For most of us students, May is a very busy, and sometimes stressful, part of the year. But, here are ten simple pleasures that might bring you a little happiness in these next few weeks.
1. The Origins of May
The origins for May's name can be traced back to one of two possibilities. Some believe May was named after the Greek Goddess Maia, the goddess of growth and fertility, as May is a particularly lush and flowery time of year. Others point to the thoughts of Ovid, a Roman poet. He determined that May must refer to the Latin 'maiores,' meaning 'elders'- a plausible idea considering the following month of June was based on the Latin 'iuniores,' meaning 'youths.'
2. May Day
May Day is an ancient holiday that honors the return of spring and is celebrated in a variety of ways depending on the group of people. The most traditional and well-known of these celebrations involves dancing around the maypole- a tall pole topped with a flower crown and ribbons,with each person controlling one ribbon strand. As dancers zig-zag between each other and circle the pole, the ribbons become intricately woven in a beautiful pattern. The dance is often accompanied with music, singing, and a great feast.
3. May The Fourth Be With You
Because of the pun, May 4th has become the unofficial Star Wars holiday. So for all you Star Wars nerds, 'May the Fourth Be With You!'
4. National Teacher Appreciation Day
National Teacher Appreciation day falls on the Tuesday of the first full week of May- May 7th this year. As a future teacher, I find this holiday especially exciting! Even though it isn't a paid day off, it's still a nice form of recognition. So if you're a teacher, relax and enjoy the abundance of gifts, and if you're a student, be sure to give your teacher the love he or she deserves!
5. Mother's Day
May 12th is Mother's Day! What better month to celebrate all the wonderful mothers out there than the one with balmy, sunny weather and every flower in bloom? Be sure to flower your mom with love on this day (and every other day too)!
6. Memorial Day
Memorial Day is an American holiday that occurs on the last Monday of the month of May, falling on the 27th this year. It was established as a way to honor the lives of men and women who died serving our country in the military. Take this time to reflect on all the tremendous freedoms we have been provided through their brave work.
7. The Emerald
May's unique birthstone is the emerald. Though I'm not particularly inclined to believe in the supernatural powers some claim crystals possess, I am still intrigued by them, and feel these qualities can be pleasantly related back to each month of the year. Emeralds, sometimes called the "Stone of Successful Love," are connected with the Heart Chakra, causing one to be more in tune with their romantic self. St. Hildegard also believes that "all the green of nature is concentrated within the emerald," making it a strong symbol of youth and vitality- perfect for the heart of the spring season.
8. Lily of the Valley
May's flower is Lily of the Valley, a lovely, white, bonnet-shaped bloom. It commonly represents purity, humility, and happiness. To welcome the month of May, fill your house with the sweet aroma of Lily of the Valley bouquets.
9. Strawberry Chamomile Paloma
I've taken it upon myself to give May a signature drink as well- the Strawberry Chamomile Paloma. This springy drink is perfectly sweet and refreshing- with sparkling water, grapefruit juice, chamomile honey tea, fresh strawberries, and of course, tequila.
Get the recipe here: https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/strawberry-chamomile-paloma/
10. All The Flowers
Though plenty of buds begin to open in early spring, May is the time of year when flowers truly flourish-peonies, roses, delphinium, iris... take some time to go outside and explore the beautiful blossoms!
Despite all the schoolwork, hopefully, these ten things can bring you a little joy this May.
PS: Shoutout to all the Taurus' and Geminis!