International Workers’ Day, or commonly known as Labor Day or Workers’ Day or May Day, is celebrated on 1 May. It is a celebration of laborer and working classes, and is promoted by international labor movements. Labor Day is a national public holiday in many countries. Some countries celebrate Labor Day on other dates that are important to them.
1 May is chosen as Labor Day to commemorate the Haymarket affair that occurred on 4 May 1886 in Chicago. Beginning 1 May 1886, there were strikes on eight-hour workday. The strike was escalated to an open clash between the strike participants and the police, resulting in death and injury of many people, including civilians. Later, on 1904, the International Socialist Congress, that was attended by a pan-national organization of socialist and communist political parties, chose 1 May as Labor Day, and also called on “all Social Democratic Party organizations and trade unions of all countries to demonstrate energetically on the First of May for the legal establishment of the 8-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace.”
Labor Day celebrations are different from one country to another. In some counties, Labor Day is celebrated with a parade by trade unions and labor associations. In other countries, the minimum labor wage is adjusted and announced on Labor Day. Demonstrations and rallies are also held on Labor Day, when workers voice their demands on labors’ right, better policy on labor, better income, and many others.
If you are a worker, celebrate Labor Day in a peaceful way, either by participating on a peaceful rally or a parade. If you are not a worker, you could still share the spirit by appreciating the workers around you. No need to do drastic actions such as increasing their wages. Giving them a sincere thank you for their works, or acknowledging their good works are often enough!
How about you? Tell us your favorite Labor Day activity, or share your most memorable Labor Day celebration. Have a simple initiative to appreciate the workers around you? Share it to us too!
Happy Labor Day!