May 1st is celebrated worldwide every year as International Workers Day and is also called as Labours day. Workers everywhere around the world unite to mark ‘May Day’.
In India, the day is celebrated with an official holiday in many of its states and union territories. For a population of more than 500 million workers, the day means a lot. It is also known as Antarrashtriya Shramik Diwas or Kamgar Din in the country and is marked with a red flag
The history of May Day is intriguing as it involves many things. In fact, May Day celebrates 2 different things at one. Here’s more about what and how the two things are interconnected.
The origin of May Day began as a Pagan Celebration of the Roman and Gaelic tradition. Eventually, the concept included MayPole around which dancers circle. The pole is covered with streamers and made of wood
But how does Labour Day come in with dancing?
In the year 1886, a national strike was organised in May by US activist demanding an 8-hour work day. The day turned tragic at Haymarket Square in Chicago when approximately 15 people died amongst both police and the protesters.
May 1st was declared as a day designated for Labour by the International Socialist Conference to honour the workers who lost their lives at the Haymarket Square on that fateful day. It was established as a holiday in the year 1889. As time went by, the practice spread to many different parts of the world.
All over the world on May 1st, maypoles, labour parades and protests are all means to celebrate the day. Children participate in the festival to learn the importance of fairness to all workers.