May Day Schmay-day. What’s so important about this day? Why does every company in the world consider this day a holiday? Are there any significances to this? Is the concept of this holiday new? Are there any other historical significances to this day. Find out all that and more in this article. So if you don’t know anything about May Day, you have nothing to worry about. We’re here to clear the ambiguity of May Day to you.
Definition – What does May Day really mean? 🤔
Dictionary.com defines May Day as “the first day of May, long celebrated with various festivities, as the crowning of the May queen, dancing around the Maypole, and, in recent years, often marked by labor parades and political demonstrations.”
International Workers’ Day, also known as Labour Day in most countries and often referred to as May Day, is a celebration of labourers and the working classes that is promoted by the international labour movement and occurs every year on May Day (1 May)
Of Customs & Traditions 🏺
Traditionally, May Day has been known as the festival of Spring in many European countries and that’s how it’s remained in history. A day when the all the workers toiled hard in the fields and harvested all the crop just in the middle of Spring (at the time). Hence, this was an ancient festival of Spring.
Since the 18th century, many Roman Catholics have observed May – and May Day – with various May devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In works of art, school skits, and so forth, Mary’s head will often be adorned with flowers in a May crowning. 1 May is also one of two feast days of the Catholic patron saint of workers St Joseph the Worker, a carpenter, husband to Mother Mary, and surrogate father of Jesus. Replacing another feast to St. Joseph, this date was chosen by Pope Pius XII in 1955 as a counterpoint to the communist International Workers Day celebrations on May Day.
The best known modern May Day traditions, observed both in Europe and North America, include dancing around the maypole and crowning the Queen of May. Fading in popularity since the late 20th century is the tradition of giving of “May baskets,” small baskets of sweets or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbours’ doorsteps.
In the late 20th century, many neo pagans began reconstructing some of the older pagan festivals and combining them with more recently developed European secular and Catholic traditions, and celebrating May Day as a pagan religious festival.
The route from History to Now 💫
While it may belong to a tradition of spring festivals, the date was chosen in 1889 for political reasons by the Marxist International Socialist Congress, which met in Paris and established the Second International as a successor to the earlier International Workingmen’s Association. They adopted a resolution for a “great international demonstration” in support of working-class demands for the eight-hour day. The date had been chosen by the American Federation of Labor to continue an earlier campaign for the eight-hour day in the United States, which had culminated in the Haymarket affair, which occurred in Chicago on 4 May 1886. May Day subsequently became an annual event. The 1904 Sixth Conference of the Second International, called on “all Social Democratic Party organisations and trade unions of all countries to demonstrate energetically on the First of May for the legal establishment of the eight-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace.”
So what’s it called around the world?🤷
May 1st is a holiday that comes under national and public holidays in a large number of countries and nations all around the world. In almost every country, the day is known as “International Workers’ Day” or something similar along those lines.
The first of May is a national, public holiday in many countries across the world, in most cases as “International Workers’ Day” or a similar name. Some countries celebrate a Labour Day on other dates significant to them, such as the United States and Canada, which celebrate Labor Day on the first Monday of September.
Workers have been the main reason for the world to grow into what it is today. If people didn’t work, then the world as we know it would have a different shape altogether.
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