This day is commemorated in appreciation of the contribution of workers to national development. It is also used to raise both national and international consciousness on the importance of promoting and protecting the rights of workers. Furthermore, the day is an occasion for reminding workers of their responsibilities and obligations.

International Labour Day, otherwise called Labor Day or Workers’ Day in a few nations and frequently alluded to as May Day, is a festival of workers and the common labourers that is advanced by the global work development which happens each year on 1 May, an antiquated European spring celebration.

The date was picked by a container national association of communist and socialist political gatherings to honour the Haymarket undertaking, which happened in Chicago on 4 May 1886.

What says about May 1st as a holiday:

The month of May marks the beginning of a new season, where the cold winter weather is replaced by warmer temperatures, and the landscape begins to bloom with new life. This shift in seasons brings with it a sense of renewal and hope, as we witness the beauty of nature around us. 

May Day is also a time of unity and togetherness. People of different races and cultures come together to celebrate the arrival of spring through various traditions such as dancing, singing, and exchanging flowers and baskets. These festivities bring a sense of community and connection, as people celebrate the joys of life together. 

International Workers’ Day is also observed on 1 May, commemorating a significant event in the history of labour rights. In 1886, workers across the United States organized a national strike to demand an eight-hour workday. The protest in Chicago’s Haymarket Square turned violent, resulting in the deaths of several workers. To honour their sacrifice, the International Socialist Conference declared 1 May as International Workers’ Day, a day to recognize the struggles and achievements of workers worldwide. 

Overall, May Day is a time of celebration, unity, and reflection. It allows us to appreciate the beauty of nature and the importance of community, while also reminding us of the ongoing struggles for social justice and workers’ rights. 

Most countries commemorate May 1st as May Day. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the bank holiday is marked on the first Monday in May rather than on May 1st. The holiday was officially sanctioned by the Soviet Union in the twentieth century, and it is also known as the International Solidarity of Workers Day in some Communist countries.

During the Cold War era, celebrations in communist countries often included enormous military parades displaying the latest weaponry and displays of ordinary people supporting the government.

Curiously (given the origin of the May 1st date), the United States commemorates Labour Day on the first Monday in September. Some believe this was done to avoid commemorating the 1886 riots.

Another reason for official opposition to May Day labour festivities in America is that communists and socialists use it as their primary holiday. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the Netherlands all commemorate Labour Day on different days, but this is due to how the holiday began in those nations. 

A Brief Timeline of May Day

The May Day timeline includes significant events related to labour rights and workers’ protests throughout history. 

  • In 1886, May Day became known as International Workers’ Day, a labour holiday celebrated worldwide. 
  • In 1894, the United States established Labour Day as a national holiday to recognize the contributions and achievements of workers. 
  • However, in 2014, Turkey attempted to ban labour rallies on May Day due to violent incidents occurring during previous marches and riots. 
  • In 2015, despite a government ban on marching to Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, protestors took to the streets on May Day. Clashes between police officers and demonstrators resulted in violent outbreaks. 

History of May Day or International Workers Day

In Chicago, the USA, a union of workers announced a general strike in 1886 for an 8-hour workday. The strike had turned violent. To control the crowd, the policemen started shelling. Bombs were thrown into the public. Many workers were killed, and a few were injured. An overseas movement started with marches and uprisings happening annually on International Workers’ Day after a few years.

For the first time, May Day was celebrated in India in the year 1923 in Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu. Currently, parades will be organised by trade associations across the country. Contests will be organised for students to make them understand the importance of equality for the working community. On the day, speeches will be given by politicians. May Day celebrates the rights of labourers. The International Labour Organisation conducts various events and programs to mark the day.

May Day – A Global Day

May Day is celebrated internationally. The Bank Holiday is not confirmed on 1 May. Instead, it is celebrated on the first Monday of May every year. The official commendation of the Soviet Union was given to May Day in the 20th century. In England, the celebrations consist of Morris dancing and dancing around a Maypole. In Germany, in 1933, Labour Day was declared an official holiday. It is a holiday in India and is celebrated in many states. India celebrates Labour Day by different names. In Hindi, it is called Kamgar Din. In Marathi, it is called Kamgar Din, and Uzhaipalar Dhinam in Tamil.

May Day or Labour Day or International Workers’ Day is a countrywide holiday in a majority of European nations including Sweden, France, Poland, Finland, Norway, Spain, Germany, Italy, etc. Panama, Cuba, Mexico, Guyana, Peru, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina and Chile also celebrate the day. In Canada, the United States of America (USA) and Australia, May Day is celebrated at various times of the year.

May Day or Labour Day is celebrated in order to pay respect to the working class, which was once asked to work for more than 8 hours a day and was paid less. The day is exclusively dedicated to workers who should know their rights. Under no circumstances should workers be asked to work for more than 8 hours a day. Working hours may be extended, but the extra remuneration should be paid in addition to regular wages. May Day is a festival for workers across the globe and it respects them. It is also a traditional northern hemisphere spring festival.