What Exactly Is May Day Anyway?

You know the saying, "April showers bring May flowers"? Well, along with those flowers comes May Day, a holiday that many have heard of but might not fully understand.

May Day falls on May 1 every year.

When is May Day?

It's a celebration of the changing seasons and also a nod to workers' rights.

What's the point of May Day?

The roots of May Day stretch back to ancient pagan festivals that marked the start of summer, primarily celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere.

How did May Day get started?

The ancient Celts called it Beltaine, a festival still observed today. Over time, it evolved into a more secular celebration in Europe, complete with maypole dances that are now synonymous with the holiday.

May Day isn't just about frolicking around with ribbons in the sunshine.

Why is May Day also about labor rights?

Since the 1880s, it's been linked with International Workers' Day. In fact, for some countries, May Day is their version of America's Labor Day.

On May 1, 1886, hundreds of thousands of U.S. industrial workers staged a nationwide strike demanding an eight-hour workday, which was a big deal considering the long hours they were accustomed to.

The protests in Chicago turned violent, with clashes between strikers and police resulting in casualties. 

The situation escalated when a bomb went off in Haymarket Square during a protest, leading to even more violence.

In remembrance of these events, known as the Haymarket Affair, the International Socialist Conference declared May 1 as an international labor holiday.

So, on the first day of May, while some are celebrating the arrival of warmer weather, others are marching and protesting for workers' rights. 

Whether you're enjoying the flowers or advocating for labor rights, Happy May Day! Now, if anyone asks, you can confidently explain what May Day is all about.

अंतर्राष्ट्रीय मजदूर दिवस 2024: जानिए इस दिन का इतिहास और तथ्य