Every year May 1 is celebrated as International Labour Day to fete the labourers and the working class.
Every year May 1 is celebrated as International Labour Day to fete the laborers and the working class. It is also known as Workers’ Day marked in many European countries. In India, this day is known as Antarrashtriya Shramik Diwas, Kamgar Din, Uzhaipalar Dinam, Kamgar Din. The theme of Labour Day 2019 is “Uniting Workers for Social and Economic Advancement”.
It happens to be a public holiday in many countries. However, May 1 is also marked as ‘Maharashtra Day’ and ‘Gujarat Day’ as on this day Maharashtra and Gujarat were divided from Bombay and attained the statehood. The legislation came into effect on 1 May 1960 following which the division took place on linguistic lines.
In Maharashtra, there is a public holiday for government offices, banks, stock markets and educational institutes. And is also a dry day in the state.
This day highlights the labour movements for communist and socialist political parties. In May 1886, International Workers’ Day was started in Haymarket affair in Chicago which later got spread to other parts of the world including India. In India, the first celebration of this day took place in Chennai on May 1, 1923. It was organized by the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan in which red flag and an emblem of the labour class were used. One of these was organized at Triplicane Beach and the other was arranged at the beach which was opposite to the Madras High Court.
Interestingly, Chennai has an urban oasis which is dedicated to Labour Day. Initially, it was called Napier Park but in 1990, the name was changed to May Day Park.
It began due to the rise in industrialization where the industrialists used to exploit the labor class. They had to work for up to 15 hours a day. After this, they finally stood united and raised their voice against it. They demanded the paid leaves, proper wages for the workers.
In the United States (US), Labour Day is observed as an annual holiday to mark the achievements of the workers. It has its origins in the labour union movement, which advocated for the eight hours of work, eight hours for recreation and eight hours for rest.
It is also celebrated as an ancient European spring festival to remember the worker’s contribution.
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