May Day/Labour Day

With flowers in their hair, children dance around a tall pole. They hold colourful ribbons that stream from the top of the pole. As they dance, they weave the ribbons in and out, covering the pole with bright colours. It’s May Day in England, and the Maypole dance celebrates springtime.

May Day was brought to England by the ancient Romans. In Rome, there was a day in a spring when men paraded through the city, carrying pine tree. There was also a festival to honour Flora, the Roman goddess of springtime.

On May Day in England, a pole was set up on a village green and decorated with flowers and ribbons. Villages then danced around the Maypole.

The first of May is also Labour Day in some countries. This holiday celebrates working people. Many countries have parades and picnics.

On 1 May 1886, the labour unions in the United States decided to go on a strike demanding that workers should not be made to work for more than 8 hours a day. Just three days after the strike began, a blast occurred in Chicago’s Haymarket Square leaving many dead. To honour those workers who died in the blast, the International Socialist Conference declared May 1 as a day designated for labourers.

In India, Labour Day is also celebrated as ‘Antarrashtriya Shramik Diwas’, ‘Uzhaipalar Dinam’ (Tamil) or ‘Kamgar Din’ and its first formal celebration was initiated by the ‘Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan’ in Chennai on May 01 1923. 

Picture Credit : Google