International Workers' Day, also known as Labor Day or May Day, falls on May 1 and is a public holiday in over 80 countries. It is meant to celebrate the contributions of workers, promote their rights, and commemorate the labor movement
While May Day is also a holiday to mark the arrival of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, it became associated with trade union activities in the late 19th century. Protest rallies and strikes take place around the world on this day, sometimes leading to clashes with police. The Catholic Church instituted the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker on May 1 in 1955.
As we celebrate International Workers Day we are taking you back in time to learn about how the day came to be. We start our journey in 1760 at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Inventions such as the railroad, cotton gin, and electricity began to change society.
As the Industrial Revolution grew and spread across the glob. Millions of workers were needed to fill positions in factories. Of course, people began to fill positions in hopes to make a better life for their families. Unfortunately, the reality of earning a paycheck became a harsh lesson for many.
International Workers' Day, or May Day, is a public holiday honoring workers around the world.
Why Do We Celebrate International Worker's Day?
People in countries all over the world celebrate International Workers' Day in order to respect and highlight the contribution of workers to society. The day arises from activists in the late 19th century pushing for better conditions for workers, such as an eight-hour workday.
How is Workers' Day celebrated now?
Celebrations and protests take place in different ways in different countries around the world. May 1 is a public holiday in countries such as South Africa, Tunisia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and China. In many countries, including France, Greece, Japan, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and the United States, there are demonstrations on International Workers' Day.
Workers' Day is a day for working people to have a rest from their usual labour. It is an opportunity to campaign for workers' rights, show solidarity with other working people and to celebrate the achievements of workers all over the world.
International Workers' Day wasn't intended to be an annual event, but due to its remarkable success in 1890, Second International made it one. Although it started with demands to reduce the number of hours of manual labor required of workers, it continued to be observed even after that goal was achieved in many major industrial nations.
So now is the time to learn about and celebrate International Workers’ Day together!
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