Holidays Calendar for May 21, 2020

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.

Montenegro is one of the youngest independent countries in the world. It declared its independence from the State Union on the basis of an independence referendum that took place in 2006. The anniversary of the referendum, May 21, its celebrated as Montenegro Independence Day.

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.

The Feast of the Ascension (also known as Ascension Day or Ascension Thursday) is celebrated 39 days after Easter. It commemorates the Ascension of Jesus into heaven. In some countries, Ascension Day is a public holiday.


The Feast of the Ascension is one of the ecumenical (universally celebrated) feasts of Christian churches. In the Armenian Apostolic Church it is also known as the Feast of Holy Ascension or Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Global Accessibility Awareness Day(GAAD) is observed annually on the third Thursday of May. It was launched to raise awareness of digital accessibility and inclusion for people with impairments and disabilities worldwide.


World Catholic Education Day, also known as World Day of Catholic Education, is observed annually 40 days after Easter, coinciding with the Feast of Ascension. It was established in 2022 by the Congress of the International Office of Catholic Education (Office International de l’Enseignement Catholique, OIEC).


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.

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.

National Waitstaff Day, also known as National Waiters and Waitresses Day, is celebrated annually on May 21. It was created to recognize the hard work and dedication of servers, baristas, bartenders, and other waitstaff who are often overworked and underpaid.

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.

Vyshyvanka Day, sometimes referred to as World Vyshyvanka Day, is a Ukrainian holiday celebrated on the third Thursday of May. On this day, thousands of Ukrainians across the world wear vyshyvankas (traditional embroidered shirts) to demonstrate their national identity and patriotism.


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.

The Circassian Day of Mourning, also known as Remembrance Day for the Victims of the Caucasian War, is observed on May 21 by the Abkhazo-Adyghean peoples. It honors the memory of thousands of Circassians who were killed or forcefully displaced by the Russian Empire in the 19th century.

National American Red Cross Founder’s Day is observed annually on May 21. It commemorates the establishment of the American Red Cross and honors its founder, Clara Barton.

Malabon Day (Araw ng Malabon) is a special non-working holiday celebrated in the Philippine city of Malabon on May 21 every year. It commemorates the city’s founding anniversary.

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!

If you love all things dinosaurs, you’re lucky because you can celebrate these amazing creatures twice a year: on the third Tuesday of May and on June 1. Both holidays are referred to as Dinosaur Day, National Dinosaur Day, and occasionally even as International Dinosaur Day.

Even if you’re not a fan of drinking in the middle of the week, you can make an exception on the third Thursday of May because it is National Apéritif Day. This holiday was created to appreciate alcoholic beverages that are served before a meal.


In some Bulgarian and Greek villages, people still perform an old fire-walking ritual. This originally pagan tradition is now associated with the feast day of Saint Constantine and Saint Helen. It is called the nestinarstvo in Bulgaria and the anastenaria in Greece.

International Tea Day is a United Nations observance celebrated annually on May 21. It was inaugurated by the General Assembly and essentially replaced the unofficial observance of the same name, which used to be celebrated on December 15 in tea producing countries.

World 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.

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.

In Germany, Father's Day (Vatertag) coincides with the Feast of Ascension. This holiday is also regionally referred to as Men's Day (Männertag) or Gentlemen's Day (Herrentag).


This Day in History

  • 2017 The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performed their final show at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York before going on a six-year hiatus.
  • 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.
  • 1992 Born: Olivia Olson, American actress, singer-songwriter, and writer, known for her voice roles as Vanessa Doofenshmirtz in Phineas and Ferb and Marceline the Vampire Queen in Adventure Time.
  • 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.
  • 1986 Born: Da'Vine Joy Randolph, American actress who first gained recognition for her portrayal of psychic Oda Mae Brown in the Broadway production of Ghost.
  • 1980 Born: Gotye (stage name of Wally De Backer), Belgian-Australian 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 in 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 translations 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, an early utopian work.
  • 1607 Died: John Rainolds, English academic and churchman who contributed to an 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.