May Day: History, Legacy And Importance Of International Workers' Day

Tue, 02 May 2017 08:31 IST

May Day is celebrated to observe the silent struggles and everyday achievements of the workers across the world.

May Day: History, Legacy And Importance Of International Workers' Day
Since 1923, May Day is being celebrated in India. (AFP)

Today, May 1, marks the International Workers’ Day. Also known as ‘May Day’ or ‘Labour Day’, the day is celebrated to observe the silent struggles and everyday achievements of the workers across the world.

 

History

It all began in 1886 to commemorate the May 4 Haymarket affair in Chicago. What started as a protest for the 8-hour shift soon began a movement.

In Chicago, the police were trying to disperse a public assembly during a general strike for the eight-hour workday, when an unidentified person threw a bomb at the police. The police responded by firing on the workers, killing four demonstrators. The protest spread like wildfire and there were demonstrations across the US.

 

Legacy

May Day has been a focal point for demonstrations by various groups since the Second International. May Day. It is one of the most important holidays in communist countries such as the People's Republic of China, North Korea, Cuba and the former Soviet Union. During the Cold War, May Day became the occasion for large military parades in Red Square by the Soviet Union and attended by the top leaders of the Kremlin.

 

How it is celebrated

May Day celebrations in these countries typically feature elaborate workforce parades, including displays of military hardware and soldiers.