First of all, this holiday is known by various names: May 1, Labor Day, International Workers' Day, and even May Day. However, May Day is mostly associated with spring, rebirth, and fertility, whereas Labor Day commemorates the historic struggles and achievements made by workers and the labour movement. In other words, it's about workers' rights. To sum up, both holidays just overlap and take place on May 1. More reasons to celebrate 🌞
Historical flashbacks ⚒
The story goes that everything began in Chicago. In 1886 workers called for a huge strike demanding an eight-hour day. As it usually happens, protests, demonstrations, fights with police followed. As there were a lot of victims, the agenda changed from better working conditions to anti police violence. The results were tragic: lots were hanged, some imprisoned. This fight for rights is known as Haymarket riot. And it didn't go unnoticed.
In 1890 the Second International proposed that socialist parties arrange strikes every year on May 1. That's how the first of May has become the International Workers’ Day.
When and how Labor Day is celebrated 🌱
Many countries mark this date on their calendar, including South Africa, India, Brazil. However, not all countries make it a day-off. Plus, some prefer a more neutral date for celebration, not related to political events following the Haymarket riot. For example, USA and Canada celebrate Labor Day on the first Monday in September.
One of the most entertaining activities for this day is a demonstration or a parade. I remember going to one in my childhood. As a kid, you don't really enjoy a long aimless walk in a noisy crowd of people. Even museums sound less boring. Since that time, Labour Day has become a pretty ordinary day for me. I simply don't attend any events. If you're a couch potato too, copy these symbols and emoji to paste in your posts and messages. Somebody's gotta cover the news 😉