Labour Day or May Day is dedicated to all workers. Know all about Labour Day or May Day

The world has dedicated May 1 to celebrate and recognize the efforts of millions of labours and helpers. On this special day, we thank all the workers around the world for their efforts and hard work.

Updated: Apr 30, 2020 17:34 IST

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Roselet Sheena Merli

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When is Labour Day?

Labour Day or May Day is celebrated on 1 May every year. The day commemorated the Haymarket affair in Chicago. The day aims to celebrate labourers and the working class. The day is celebrated with Public holidays in most of the countries worldwide. The day promotes and encourages international labour associations.

On this day Socialist and labour unions celebrate the day by organizing programs and improving wages and working conditions of the workforce. Over 90 countries celebrate Labour Day on 1 May as a national holiday.


History of Labour Day or May Day

During the rise of industrialization, the US exploited the working class during the 19th century and made them work up to 15 hours a day under rigorous conditions that exploited them. The rising death of the workforce in industries forced the working class to raise their voice for their safety.

On 1st May 1886, thousands of workers came on the road and fought against the working hours. On 4 May, the police acted to disperse a public assembly in support of the strike when an unidentified person threw a bomb. Due to which several people and police officers died and more than 100 people were injured. The whole world was shocked by this incident. The incident is remembered as the Haymarket affair or the Haymarket massacre. 

After this, a second meeting of the International Socialist Conference was held in 1889 in Paris, France. In this meeting, it was announced that the working period will be only 8 hours. Also, it was decided to celebrate May Day on an annual basis through a proposal given by Raymond Lavigne, and workers will be given a holiday on this day. In 1891, International's second congress officially designated the observation of May Day as an annual event.

In India
In India, the day was first celebrated on 1 May 1923. It was initiated by the Labor Kisan Party of Hindustan in Chennai. The main purpose of the day is to bring respect and rights to the workers. On this special day, the composition of Faiz Ahmed 'Faiz' is remembered, in which he has spoken about the rights of the workers.

Other Countries
Countries like the United Kingdom and Ireland do not celebrate Labour Day on 1st May but instead are observed on the first Monday of May.

The Soviet Union celebrates the day as the Day of the International Solidarity of Workers, especially in some Communist states. 

Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the Netherlands celebrate Labour Day on different dates.

May Day Quotes

Check out the special quotes for May Day 2020:

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others – Mahatma Gandhi

Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work – Aristotle

Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration  – Thomas Edison


Without labor nothing prospers – Sophocles


Nothing ever comes to one that is worth having except as a result of hard work – Booker T. Washington

Find something you love to do, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life – Harvey Mackay

No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence – Martin Luther King, Jr.