May Day : History and Celebrations throughout the World



HnExpress Mayank Chakravarty : The traditional May Day is an ancient European export If you instead associate May Day with baskets of flowers, dancing around may poles, or simply, the start of summer, those May Day celebrations recall the holiday’s much earlier origins. Before May Day : History and Celebrations throughout the World. was adopted as a day to champion workers, its roots belonged to pagan tradition. The springtime tradition was inherited from pagan tribes in Ireland and Scandinavia, said Linebaugh, borrowing ancient Roman practices celebrating the Earth’s flowering season.

When the first Europeans came to North America and erected a maypole in Quincy, Mass., they imbibed copious amounts of beer and danced with the Indigenous people, he said. At the end of the day, no matter your version of May Day, it remains a time meant to celebrate togetherness. Inevitably, history shows, that May Day comradery has been met with suppression. May Day in America has bloody origins May Day in America was born out of the 8-hour workday movement in 19th-century Chicago.

At the time, as the capitalist system gained a foothold in industrial-era America, working-class conditions had worsened. A 16-hour shift wasn’t unusual for workers at the time. To honor the Chicago workers, the International Socialist Conference in 1889 named May Day a labor holiday, birthing what many nations now call International Workers’ Day. In the former Soviet Union, May Day was an occasion to honor workers contributions with giant parades in Red Square, a tradition that has dwindled in the decades since —

a fading remnant of the Bolshevik Revolution that’s lost its meaning in modern Russia. Some of the workers of Czarist Russia also celebrated May Day, but quickly within 10 years, say by the 1930s, it becomes the Soviet Union a day to display military hardware, military weapons,” Linebaugh said. In India, Labour Day is a public holiday held on every 1 May. The holiday is tied to labour movements for communist and socialist political parties.



Labour Day is known as “Uzhaipalar dhinam” in Tamil and was first celebrated in Madras, “Kamgar Din” in Hindi, “Karmikara Dinacharane” in Kannada,”Karmika Dinotsavam” in Telugu, “Kamgar Divas” in Marathi, “Thozhilaali Dinam” in Malayalam and “Shromik Dibosh” in Bengali. Since Labour day is not a national holiday, Labour day is observed as public holiday at State Government’s discretion. Many parts especially in North Indian States it is not a public holiday.

The first celebration in India was organized in Madras (now Chennai) by the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan on 1 May 1923. This was also the first time the red flag was used in India.The party leader Singaravelu Chettiar made arrangements to celebrate May Day in two places in 1923. One meeting was held at the beach opposite to the Madras High Court; the other meeting was held at the Triplicane beach.

The Hindu newspaper, published from Madras reported, The Labour Kisan party has introduced May Day celebrations in Madras. Comrade Singaravelar presided over the meeting. A resolution was passed stating that the government should declare May Day as a holiday. The president of the party explained the non-violent principles of the party. There was a request for financial aid.

It was emphasised that workers of the world must unite to achieve independence. Vaiko (Vai Gopalsamy), General Secretary of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, appealed to the then Prime Minister V. P. Singh to declare 1 May as a national holiday, to which the PM heeded and from then on it became a national holiday to celebrate International Labour Day.

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