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May Day, or Labor Day and it is also known as International Workers’ Day in some countries, but often referred to as May Day. It is usually celebrated on 1st May in many countries but not at all around the world. It is a public holiday in many countries around the world. The celebrations of May Day is affiliated with the start of the spring season and as well as labor’s celebrations.

History of May Day

International Workers' Day

At the end of the 19th century, as the trade union and labor progress grew, the socialists, communists and trade unionists chose the date of 1 May as the International Workers’ Day or Labor Day. This date commemorates the 1886 Haymarket affairs in Chicago, in the US. From many years, the working class – often forced to works up to 16 hours a day was in unsafe conditions. Then, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions of the United States and Canada decided in October 1884, that May 1, 1886, would mark the first day as an eight-hour workday.

According to various historians’ estimates, when that day arrived, about 300,000 to 500,000 Americans labors went on strike in their cities and towns around the country. Until 3 May, the strike was well-coordinated and largely peaceful. On 4 May, the police take action to overcome a public assembly in support of the strike when an unidentified person threw a bomb. The police started firing on the workers. This event leads the death of eight police officers and 60 were injured and as well as an unknown number of civilians were killed or wounded. Hundreds of labor leaders and supporters were rounded-up, and four were executed by hanging after a trial that was seen as a wrong order of justice.

In 1889, a meeting in Paris was held by the first congress of the Second International. In 1891, at the International’s second congress May Day or International Workers’ Day was declared as an annual event.

In China during 1990, the May Day or Labor Day was expanded up to 3 days. The Chinese government made it a seven-day holiday by moving with these three days to upcoming weekends together. Then in 2008, the Chinese government reduced these holiday period down to one day. May Day or International Workers’ Day is celebrated in different dates in some countries worldwide which are significant to them, like the United States, which celebrates Labor Day on the first Monday of September. However, today the majority of countries around the world celebrate International Workers’ Day on 1 May.

How May Day or Labor Day is celebrated?

International Workers' Day

People celebrate Labor Day to commemorate the social and economic achievements of workers. It is honored by every single organization in the world to give respect to all those who worked, who are working and those who played a part in social as well as economic conditions. On International Workers’ Day or Labor Day, labor organizations and unions hold protests in many countries around the world. Media is also promoting this day by talk shows programs and through the website. The newspaper, radio, and television also support for the rights, better wages, and benefits of the workers.

Is it a Public Holiday?

May Day or International Workers’ Day is a public and national holiday. All government and non-government organizations, factories and educational institutions remain closed on this day.