Holidays Calendar for May 21, 2016

May 21 is Navy Day in Chile. This public holiday commemorates the Battle of Iquique that took place on May 21, 1879 during the War of the Pacific.

May 21 is Independence Day in Montenegro. Montenegro is one of the youngest countries in the world, it gained independence in 2006.

Vesak (also known as Vesakha, Wesak, Buddha Purnima, Buddha's Day, Buddha Jayanti) is one of the most important Buddhist holidays. It is sometimes referred to as Buddha's birthday, but Vesak actually commemorates the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Gautama Buddha.


The British Overseas Territories of Saint Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha annually celebrate Saint Helena Day. This holiday celebrates the discovery of Saint Helena.

Culture Freedom Day is celebrated every year on the third Saturday in May. This international observance was initiated by the Digital Freedom Foundation in 2012.


Science Day in Ukraine is celebrated on the third Saturday in May. It was officially established by President Leonid Kuchma in 1997 and has been celebrated annually ever since.


Day of Culture and Art Workers in Kazakhstan is celebrated on May 21. This professional holiday was established by President Nursultan Nazarbayev in November 2013 and has been celebrated each year ever since.

The third Saturday in May is Armed Forces Day in the USA. The holiday finishes the Armed Forces Week, that starts on the second Saturday of May.


Polar Explorer's Day is one of the numerous professional holidays, that are celebrated in Russia. This is a new holiday, that was officially established by the Presidential Decree in 2013.

Europe Day is a common term for several annual celebrations of unity and peace in Europe held in May. For example, Ukraine has been celebrating Europe Day on the third Saturday in May since 2003.


Colombia annually observes Afro-Colombian Day on May 21. This holiday celebrates both the abolishment of slavery in 1851 and establishment of the first free town of Palenque de San Basilio.

Hungary celebrates Day of Patriots and Military on May 21 every year. This is not a public holiday, but it's an official memorial day.

World Whisky Day is an annual celebration of “water of life”, taking place on the third Saturday in May. This renowned event exists since 2012.


Strawberries and homemade whipped cream are perfect match. No one know who invented this simple combination, but it has been there for ages. Celebrate National Strawberries and Cream Day on May 21!

International Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is currently held on May 21 every year. The observance was created by the United Nations in 2002.

Vesak is an important Buddhist holiday that celebrates the birth, enlightenment and passing of Gautama Buddha. In 1999, the General Assembly officially declared the Day of Vesak as a United Nations international day.


India annually observes Anti-Terrorism Day on May 21. This is not a public holiday, but it's a very important memorial day for the country.


This Day in History

  • 2014 A mass stabbing spree occurred on a subway train near Jiangzicui Station, New Taipei City, Taiwan. 4 people were killed and 24 were injured.
  • 2011 The Judgment Day, which had been predicted to take place on this day, did not happen. The prophecy was made by American radio host Harold Camping.
  • 2007 Famous British clipper ship Cutty Sark, which had been closed for conservation work, caught fire. It burned for several hours and was severely damaged.
  • 2006 Died: Billy Walker, American country music singer-songwriter and guitarist best known for his song "(I'd Like to Be In) Charlie's Shoes".
  • 2006 Died: Katherine Dunham, American dancer, choreographer, writer, educator, and activist who was an innovator in African-American modern dance.
  • 2005 The world's tallest roller coaster, Kingda Ka opened at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey, United States. Its height is 456 feet.
  • 1991 Mengistu Haile Mariam, president of the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, fled the country. His escape ended the Ethiopian Civil War.
  • 1988 Died: Sammy Davis Sr., American dancer and occasional film actor. He is primarily remembered as the father of Sammy Davis Jr.
  • 1980 Born: Gotye (stage name of Wally De Backer), multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter. His breakout single was Somebody That I Used to Know.
  • 1973 Born: Noel Fielding, English actor, stand-up comedian, DJ, musician and artist. He is best known for his role as Vince Noir on The Mighty Boosh.
  • 1972 Michelangelo's statue Pietà St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City was seriously damaged by a mentally disturbed geologist named Laszlo Toth.
  • 1966 Born: Lisa Edelstein, American actress and playwright best known for her role as Doctor Lisa Cuddy on the Fox medical drama series House.
  • 1965 Died: Geoffrey de Havilland, British aviation pioneer and aircraft engineer. He is best known for having created the de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito.
  • 1964 Died: James Franck, German physicist who was awarded the 1925 Nobel Prize in Physics, sharing it with Gustav Herz, for their Franck–Hertz experiment.
  • 1959 Born: Nick Cassavetes, American actor, film director, and screenwriter. His best known works as a director are The Notebook and Alpha Dog.
  • 1949 Died: Klaus Mann, German writer, the son of Nobel Prize laureate Thomas Mann. His most famous work is the 1936 novel Mephisto.
  • 1936 Born: Günter Blobel, German biologist who was awarded the 1999 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of signal peptides.
  • 1935 Died: Jane Addams, American social worker, social and political activist, public philosopher, sociologist, writer and leader in women's suffrage.
  • 1934 Born: Bengt I. Samuelsson, Swedish biochemist who was awarded the 1982 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, sharing it with two other scientists.
  • 1925 Died: Hidesaburō Ueno, Japanese agricultural scientist best known as the guardian of Hachikō, a dog who remained loyal to him even after his death.
  • 1921 Born: Andrei Sakharov, Soviet nuclear physicist, dissident, and human rights activist. He was awarded the 1975 Nobel Peace Prize.
  • 1904 The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA, International Federation of Association Football) was founded. It now consists of 209 men's national football teams.
  • 1856 Pro-slavery activists attacked and ransacked the town of Lawrence, Kansas. The Sacking of Lawrence was part of the prelude to the American Civil War.
  • 1843 Born: Charles Albert Gobat, Swiss lawyer and politician who was awarded the 1902 Nobel Peace Prize, sharing it with Élie Ducommun.
  • 1809 The Battle of Aspern-Essling began. It was part of War of the Fifth Coalition. The battle lasted for two days and resulted in the defeat of the French.
  • 1688 Born: Alexander Pope, English poet and translator who is best known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey.
  • 1639 Died: Tommaso Campanella, Italian philosopher, theologian, astrologer, and poet. His most famous book is The City of the Sun, early utopian work.
  • 1607 Died: John Rainolds, English academic and churchman who contributed to English translation of the Bible known as the King James Version.
  • 1502 Galician navigator João da Nova discovered the island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic. He named it so after Helena of Constantinople.
  • 1471 Born: Albrecht Dürer, German painter, printmaker, engraver, theorist and mathematician. He is considered the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance.