Celebrate Together: Building strong family ties

May 1, 2023, Lynne Brown

Ready to celebrate together? We’ve talked about the importance of family traditions before since creating family traditions helps build strong family ties. The first week of May offers lots of opportunities for creating new family traditions or coming together once again to celebrate established traditions. 

Here are some May celebrations that are perfect for building family ties and creating family traditions.

May Day

May 1st is May Day, an opportunity to celebrate the changing seasons and cycles of nature. May Day celebrations often include flowers, ribbons, folk dances, and a maypole. 

A maypole is a tall wooden pole that is traditional in some parts of Europe and North America.  Festooned with ribbons and flowers, in traditional May Day celebrations, young people dance around the maypole, holding onto the ribbons as they circle the pole. The dance is often accompanied by music and singing and it is believed to symbolize the awakening of spring and the renewal of life.

If you’re looking for a less elaborate way to celebrate May Day as a family, making small bouquets of flowers and sharing them with friends, family, neighbors, or classmates is another way to celebrate the coming of spring.

Star Wars Day (May the Fourth Be With You)

Star Wars Day, also called May the Fourth Be With You, celebrates Star Wars movies – because May the Fourth sounds so much like “May the Force,”  a phrase often used in Star Wars movies. 

May 4th is a day for fans of the Star Wars franchise to celebrate the series and its cultural impact. 

If your family is a fan, here are a few popular ways to celebrate May the Fourth: watch a Star Wars movie (you can even organize a Star Wars movie marathon with your family and friends), dress up as your favorite Star Wars character, have a Star Wars-themed party, with decorations, food, and drinks inspired by the Star Wars universe. Or do a Star Wars craft, such as drawing your favorite Star Wars characters.

Cinco de Mayo

May 5th is Cinco de Mayo, a holiday celebrated in Mexico and the United States. Cinco de Mayo become popular in the United States in the 1940s during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency. It commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, during the Franco-Mexican War. 

Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16th but is a celebration of Mexican heritage and culture.

Today, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated throughout the United States, with festivities that often include traditional Mexican food, music, and dancing. 

Celebrate with your family by preparing traditional Mexican dishes such as tacos, guacamole, and salsa. You can also read books about Mexican history and culture together, decorate the house with traditional Mexican decorations, and listen to traditional Mexican music.

Kentucky Derby Day

This year the Kentucky Derby will be held on Saturday, May 6th. The longest-running and most prestigious horse race in the United States, the Kentucky Derby has been held every year since 1875. It has been staged on the first Saturday in May all but two of those years. 

To celebrate the Kentucky Derby, watch the race together, guessing who might win and cheering for your horse. At the Kentucky Derby people wear fancy hats and drink Mint Juleps. You can include ornate hats and family-friendly Mint juleps at your watch party. For a non-alcoholic version of the Mint Julep check out Family-friendly Mint Juleps.

These are just a few of the many special days throughout the year that can be used to build family ties. 

Each family is unique and the family culture and traditions they create together will be unique as well. Pick the celebrations your family will most enjoy and create some special moments together while strengthening the bonds between you.