May Day

May 1 was celebrated around the world as May Day. Like every year, there were at least two important celebrations associated with it. One celebration was for the International Workers’ Day or Labor Day. Workers in many countries gathered around to express their unity and also voice their concerns. People gathered and marched in Istanbul (Turkey), Paris (France), Manila (the Philippines), Seoul (South Korea), Jakarta (Indonesia), and many cities around the globe. Some were protesting for better working conditions, higher salaries, and more jobs. Others were taking a stand against their nation’s government.

On May 1, 1886, large rallies were started by workers in various cities in the United States to shorten the working day. The rallies lead to some riots in Chicago, USA which resulted in the death of several workers as well as policemen. In 1889, an international labor organization decided in Paris, France to choose May 1, 1890 as the day to commemorate the workers’ fight for an eight-hour workday across the globe. Since then, May Day has become an annual event celebrated by several countries in the world.

May Day is also celebrated as the first day of summer in many cultures. A tradition in the United Kingdom is for people to dance around Maypoles which are wooden poles decorated with flowers and ribbons. In France, people present their loved ones with flowers. A German tradition is for the people of a village to steal the Maypole of other villages.



Image Credits: for the May pole’s image, for the image of the sign from 1886, for the fist image