International Labor Day is celebrated on May 1 and in most of the country, this day is honored by announcing it as a public holiday. May 1 is marked in countries like North Korea, India, Cuba. The principle of Labor Day is ‘Uniting workers for social and economic development.’
May Day is also known as Workers ‘Day or International Workers’ Day.
History of May Day:
7 police officers and 4 civilians were massacred in a bomb explosion in Chicago on May 4, 1886. The explosion was in response to the police shooting peaceful demonstrators the day before. Eight anarchists have been charged with conspiracy after the bombing and sentenced to death. The Haymarket Massacre caused worldwide headlines, as none of the eight convicted thrown bombs.
After 3 years, a French Socialist Party decided May 1 as International Workers’ Day to honor the labor movement and to observe the Haymarket Massacre.
Origin of May Day in India:
Labor Day has a different story for all the countries in which the day is celebrated. The Labor Kisan Party of Hindustan organized the first day of May Day in India on 1 May 1923 in Madras (now Chennai). This is the first time in India that the red flag is used in India to mark Labor Day.
Today it is associated with the labor movements of the Communist and Socialist political parties. In Hindi, Labor Day is called as ‘Antarrashtriya Shramik Diwas’ or ‘Kamgar Din’. Marathi people celebrate it with the name of ‘Kamgar Diwas’, and in Tamil, it is known as ‘Uzhaipalar Naal’. Interestingly, in addition to Labor Day, May 1 was also designated as ‘Maharashtra Day’ and ‘Gujarat Day’ in 1960, after the former Bombay State was linguistically divided by two Western states.
Significance of the May Day
The labor movement is also known as the eight-hour day movement, as it allocates daily work limit to eight hours, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for leisure. That is why Labor Day or May Day is being promoted by various anarchist, communist and, socialist groups. During the Cold War from 1947 to 1953, Labor Day became a periodic event in the Red Square for the Soviet Union’s large military caravans, and the Kremlin’s top leaders, notably the Politburo, took part in the Lenin tomb. It became a lasting symbol of that period. To date, countries that refer to May Day as an official holiday have elaborated on famous and military parades that day.