Today Special : National May Ray Day

Today Special : National May Ray Day

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Today Special : National May Ray Day

National May Ray Day is celebrated on May 19 and today we celebrate all the rays of sunshine in our lives. It’s that time of year when the remnants of spring bring the whispers of summer, and the sunshine is at its most inviting. So what are you waiting for? Take a gulp of that sweet summer air.

HISTORY OF NATIONAL MAY RAY DAY

The origin of National May Ray Day was thanks to comedian Richard Ankli, who decided to honor his brother Ray, who was born on that same day. In 1977, the Broadway Fun Spot (nickname for a Broadway residence) in St. Joseph, Michigan, decided to commemorate the day by turning it into an official holiday. Richard Ankli is also the founder of Welcome Giving Day (celebrated in November).

Though National May Ray Day has many associations now, the general idea remains the same — to get out there and soak up some sun. It’s the chance to catch the last breath of spring along with the gentle rays precluding summer; a time when nature puts its best foot forward.

Historically, the month of May has many cultural connotations and significance. For those in agrarian societies, it marked the beginning of sowing or reaping, depending on which hemisphere they were in since May is either the last month of spring or the last month of fall.

The ancient Greeks certainly took spring seriously by celebrating the Greek god Dionysus (also known as Bacchus in Roman lore) — the god of the grape harvest, wine, fertility, rebirth, flora, revelry, and theatre. Furthermore, the month of May also has its origins in Greek mythology, as it’s named after Maia, one of the seven Pleiades (a twinkling constellation in the clear night sky).

For the literary ones, you may have heard it said that “March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers,” which can’t be more accurate. When we think of spring, we think of fertility, growth, and all-around merriment. Overall, the holiday begs to be one of enjoyment.

HOW TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL MAY RAY DAY

  1. Take a walk : It’s simple and can make all the difference to your mood. Slather on some sunscreen, grab those Ray-Bans, and soak up some Vitamin D. Make a picnic of it, if you feel extra fancy.
  2. Get down and dirty : Literally. Put on those gardening gloves, get out your rusty tools, and plant something to celebrate life, growth, and rebirth. Green fingers or not, you can give back to the Earth this way.
  3. Party with Rays : Whether you want to groove to the smooth tunes of Ray Charles while out enjoying the sun’s rays, or get stuck in Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”, there’s a Ray for everyone out there. Just make sure you enjoy your favorite Ray in the sunshine and don’t forget to hashtag your relevant selfies with #NationalMayRayDay.

5 FACTS ABOUT MAY YOU MAY NOT KNOW

  1. The name has mixed origins : May either originates from Maia, the goddess of plant growth; or from the Latin ‘maiores,’ meaning ‘elders.’
  2. May has its own moon name : May’s full moon is called the Flower Moon and will be visible on May 26 this year.
  3. Emerald is May’s birthstone : The emerald symbolizes rebirth and fertility — go figure!
  4. May has two birth flowers : Hawthorn and lily of the valley symbolize hope and the return of happiness.
  5. Marry in May, at your own peril : May was once considered an unlucky marriage month, as a poem says — “Marry in May and you’ll rue the day.”

WHY WE LOVE NATIONAL MAY RAY DAY

  1. Every culture has a reason to celebrate : Some countries hold harvest festivals, while others revel in the headiness of spring by celebrating festivals expressing the freedom to be. It’s a time for music festivals, too.
  2. Change is in the air : Whether you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, ushering in the summer, or the Southern Hemisphere, preparing for the fall, May is the month of transition around the world. So you have a reason to update your wardrobe, try something new, and express yourself as freely as nature does.
  3. Rays get a day of appreciation : This does not mean that only those named Ray get special appreciation. Broaden the category a bit, and ask yourself who the special ‘rays of sunshine’ are in your life? Then go ahead and show them some love and spread the cheer.