22 May - 7 June. This annual arts festival of art and artists is entertaining and acclaimed, featuring music, literature, comedy and the performing arts, including visits from the Royal National Theatre and the Cirque Baroque. Call 01722 323883 for details.


24 May is Cyrillic Alphabet Day, a slightly improbable cause for a public holiday. The Cyrillic alphabet (shared with Russia and Serbia) dates back to the nineth century when St Cyril and St Methodius translated the Bible into Old Church Slavonic.


20 May. Visakha Puja.(above) The holiest of all Buddhist religious days marks the birth, enlightenment and death of the Lord Buddha. It is honoured in temples throughout the land with sermons from monks and candle-lit processions. This event is also marked by holidays in Indonesia, India and other countries with Buddhist connections.


20 - 23 May. Chelsea Flower Show (above). This world-famous annual flower show will be titillating botanists, horticulturalists and simple flower- lovers alike at the Royal Hospital (members only on 20-21 May). Call 0171 8344333 for details.


26 May. Cheese Rolling ceremony. The aim is to roll heavy cheeses down a steep hill - Cooper's Hill at Brockworth - but this ancient custom is not as simple as it sounds. Participants run the risk of being crushed by giant cheeses. The one whose cheese gets to the bottom first is the winner.


25 May. Down in the Alpine valleys they'll be calling from hillside to hillside: this is yodelling Sunday in the town of Winterthur.


24 May - 1 June. This week is Cordoba's own feria, similar in nature to Seville's feria of the month before. This festival, which seems to date back to Roman times, purports to welcome in the hot weather of summer.