Holidays Calendar for May 11, 2013

The Royal Ploughing Ceremony is an ancient fertility rite annually held in many Asian countries, including Thailand. The ceremony officially marks the beginning of the rice growing season.

World Fair Trade Day is an annual observance held on the second Saturday in May. It is held by the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), a global association of more than 300 hundred organizations that promote fair trade.


World Belly Dance Day, also spelled World Bellydance Day, is observed annually on the second Saturday of May. It was created to raise awareness of the ancient art of belly dance and dispel common misconceptions surrounding it.


The Day of Military Police of the Indonesian National Armed Forces, also known as simply Military Police Day, is an official professional observance in Indonesia celebrated on May 11.

Russian counterpart of Arbor Day is called National Forest Planting Day. It is celebrated on the second Saturday in May. The campaign was launched in 2011 by the Federal Forestry Agency and has been held annually ever since.


World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) is an annual awareness campaign held on the second weekend in May. It is supported by the United Nations Environment Program as well as a number of international organizations.


Many countries around the world celebrate only one Arbor Day during the year. Mongolia is one of the few countries, that celebrates National Tree Planting Day twice a year. The tree planting events are organized on the second Saturday in May and October respectively.


National Mills Day in the Netherlands is celebrated on the second Saturday in May. On this day, may wind- and watermills open their doors to general public.


Vietnam Human Rights Day is an annual observance held in the United States on May 11. It was designated by a Joint Resolution passed by the United States Congress in 1994.

Minnesota Statehood Day is celebrated annually on May 11. On this day in 1858, Minnesota became the 32nd state admitted into the Union.

Everyday is a food holiday, and we celebrate some special dish, beverage or ingredient. But May 11 is special, because today you can eat whatever you want. It's National Eat What You Want Day!

May 11 is National Twilight Zone Day in the USA. It may sound mysterious and a little bit scary, but we think you get the picture of the holiday.

National Cycling Day (Landelijke Fietsdag) is an informal observance in the Netherlands celebrated annually on the second Saturday in May.


National Technology Day is an annual observance in India celebrated on May 11. It commemorates the series of five nuclear bomb test explosions conducted on May 11, 1998 and known as Operation Shakti or Pokhran-II.

This Day in History

  • 2013 Two car bombs exploded in the town of Reyhanli, Hatay Province, Turkey. At least 51 were killed and 140 injured. This was the deadliest terrorism attack to occur in Turkey.
  • 2011 Died: Leo Kahn, American businessman, co-founder of Staples Inc, a large office supply chain store with over 2,000 stores worldwide. Kahn is also considered as a pioneer of the natural and health food supermarket industry.
  • 2011 Died: Elisabeth Svendsen, English activist, founder of The Donkey Sanctuary near Sidmouth, Devon, England. Nowadays The Sanctuary is one of the largest equine charities in the world.
  • 2010 Died: Richard LaMotta, American chef and businessman. He is credited with creation and promotion of the Chipwich, ice cream sandwich made of ice cream between two chocolate cookies.
  • 2001 Died: Douglas Adams, English author and screenwriter, best known for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
  • 1998 India conducted three underground atomic tests in Pokhran to include a thermonuclear device. This was the second nuclear test carried out by India, the first one was conducted in May 1974.
  • 1997 A chess-playing supercomputer Deep Blue defeated Garry Kasparov in the last game of the match. It became the first computer to beat a world-champion chess player in a classic match format.
  • 1985 56 spectators died and more then 200 injured in a flash fire that started at Valley Parade, football stadium in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, during a football match.
  • 1981 Died: Bob Marley, Jamaican singer-songwriter and guitarist, who is recognized for his distinctive songwriting and vocal style. Marley became one of the world's best-selling artists of all time with sales of more than 75 million records.
  • 1981 Died: Odd Hassel, Norwegian chemist, Nobel Prize laureate for discovery that the molecules couldn't exist on only one plane.
  • 1978 Born: Laetitia Casta, French model and actress. She gained recognition as a Victoria's Secret Angel and a spokesperson for L'Oreal. She appeared on over 100 covers of popular magazines and filmed in Gainsbourg (A Heroic Life), Face and Blue Bicycle.
  • 1976 Died: Alvar Aalto, Finnish architect and designer. Finlandia Hall (a congress and event venue in the center of Helsinki) and Paimio Sanatorium are his most prominent works.
  • 1966 Born: Christoph Schneider, German musician, best known as the drummer of German rock band Rammstein.
  • 1963 Died: Herbert Spencer Gasser, American physiologist, Nobel Prize laureate for the discovery of high differentiation of the functions of various nerve fibers.
  • 1949 The organization of the United Nations was officially joined by Israel.
  • 1949 Siam officially changed its name to Thailand for the second time. The name had been in use sine 1939 but reverted in 1945.
  • 1946 Born: Robert Jarvik, American cardiologist and scientist, best known for development of the artificial heart Jarvik-7.
  • 1932 Born: Valentino Garavani, Italian fashion designer, founder of Valentino SpA brand and company.
  • 1928 Born: Marco Ferreri, Italian actor, director, and screenwriter, known for shocking films, that combined social and political criticism, black humor and sex.
  • 1927 The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was founded. Today it's worldwide known due to its annual awards The Oscar.
  • 1924 Born: Antony Hewish, English astronomer, Nobel Prize laureate for his work on the development of radio aperture synthesis and its role in the discovery of pulsars.
  • 1918 Born: Richard Feynman, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate for important contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics. He won the prize for stating a new theory, that is known for accurate productions.
  • 1904 Born: Salvador Dalí, prominent Spanish painter. He is considered as the most prominent representative of surrealism movement.
  • 1889 Died: John Cadbury, English businessman and philanthropist, founder of the Cadbury Company, one of the largest chocolate producers in the world.
  • 1864 Born: Ethel Lilian Voynich, Irish novelist and musician, most famous for her novel The Gadfly.
  • 1857 The city of Delhi was seized by Indian rebels from the British. This rebellion posed a considerable threat to East India Company power in that region and it became known as India's First War of Independence.
  • 1813 William Lawson, Gregory Blaxland and William Wentworth led an expedition to cross the Blue Mountains in Australia. Their expedition opened up inland Australia for continued expansion throughout the 19th century.
  • 1720 Born: Baron Munchausen, German nobleman and storyteller. He became a celebrity during his lifetime for telling outrageous tall tales based on his military service in the Russo-Turkish War. His stories were adapted by Rudolf Erich Raspe, who published a book about a fictional Baron Munchausen.
  • 1708 Died: Jules Hardouin Mansart, French architect, the most influential and prominent person of the French Baroque architecture, representer of the power and grandeur of Louis XIV. The Château de Dampierre and Grand Trianon are his best known masterpieces.
  • 868 The oldest known dated printed book was printed in China. This was a copy of the Diamond Sutra.