Most of us take May Day as a holiday just like many others that we have during the year without bothering to know about its background. But in actual the day is of greater importance, specifically for working class. It’s observed officially in more than 80 countries whereby it’s a national holiday, while many other countries celebrate it unofficially. Although, May 1st is celebrated as International Labor Day, in different countries it’s observed on different dates.
History of Labor Day
The history of International Labor Day that is observed on 1st of May is actually to commemorate the tragic incident that involved Haymarket Massacre in Chicago in 1886. What actually happened that Chicago police opened fire on workers who were on a general strike for the eight hour day. This resulted in killing a large number of demonstrators as well as police officers.
Declaration of Labor Day
Three years later in 1889, there was a proposal by Raymond Lavigne calling for international demonstrations on the anniversary of the Chicago protester. Then in 1890 it proved to be so successful and later May 1st was declared as an International Event by 1891. Hence it was decided that there will be no work on the 1st of May.
Purpose of Observing Labor Day
Many big buildings that we happen to see around and many things that we use in our daily lives do involve some labor. Observing this day is to highlight and appreciate the efforts and achievements of the working class as well as the issues they face so as to make them feel valued and honored citizens.
Importance of Labor Day
The Labor class is a very important part in any social system. There are many tasks in daily life that we cannot do ourselves as we require special services and expertise for them. For this reason, it is very much important to associate a day in a year with the labor class.
Celebrating Labor Day
In many communist countries like China, Cuba, and the former Soviet Union, May Day is a significant official holiday. There are celebrations such as military parades and workers gatherings in almost every town and city, during which the leaders also participate with the crowd.