Every year on May 1st, Labor Day, also known as ‘May Day,’ is observed. Labor Day is celebrated in many countries as a public holiday. But you’ve ever wondered why we should celebrate it? Do you know why on the 1st of May Labor Day takes place? To Know about the importance and history of international labour day.
History Of International Labour Day
When Industrialisation was at its peak in the 19th century, laborers worked tirelessly to meet public demands. The working hours had been as long as 10-16 hours a day at that time. And the working conditions for the laborers were not good. Because of this, a number of workers encountered difficulties and some even died due to poor working conditions and long hours of work. Many protests took place in the late 19th century to avoid this and give redress to the labor-class.
One such movement has been the eight hour day movement. Initiated this campaign to set a fixed time for the job. The movement, which started in Britain in the early 19th century, quickly gained prominence even in other countries. The United States saw the Philadelphia carpenters’ first protest which went on a strike demanding a day of ten hours. In the 1830s, the demand became widespread.
And the eight-hour day soon became a major demand of the Chicago labor movement in the year 1864. This ended in violence on May 4, when police tried to disperse the crowd. Many people were injured and many died. In 1889 the Second International, an association of socialist and labor parties, held a conference in Paris that called for worldwide demonstrations to commemorate the riots in Chicago. May Day was formally recognized as an annual day by the International Second Congress in 1891. May Day was officially recognized as an annual day by the Second International Congress in 1891.
Why Is International Labour Day Celebrated?
Every year on May 1st, International Workers’ Day, also known as the Labor Day or May Day, is observed to commemorate the working class’s strength, commitment, and achievements. Dedicated to the working class, it is also observed this day to raise awareness about issues such as forced labor, minimum wage regulation, migrant workers’ rights, etc. The Day is celebrated to promote international labor associations. Moreover, labor unions and labor groups use Labor Day to fight for workers’ rights. Although many of us (especially the working class) are unaware of May Day’s significance, we do benefit from it.
It’s because of the 1886 labor strike in Chicago (request for 8-hour working days), that we’re working for eight hours. In many countries, including India, the rule of an 8-hour working day was created. May 1st is remembered in many countries as a public holiday. Labor Day is observed and celebrated in the United States and Canada on the first Monday of September.
Importance of May Day in India
May Day commemorates the workers’ contribution and dedication to and for society. The value of the day goes back to the days when employees in the U.S. started demonstrating against oppressive labor rules, violations of workers’ rights, unsafe working conditions, and terrible working hours. May Day is associated with the struggles of the workers and their eventual liberation in the late 19th century.
It was on this day that a group of police opened fire and killed at least two of the protesting employees demanding an 8-hour working day instead of grueling a 16-hour working day. Following the infamous killing of peaceful protesters, more employees joined the demonstrations and it was only in 1916 that the United States started to accept the eight-hour scheduling of the work.
In India, however, people started observing the day from 1 May 1923 after Hindustan’s Labor Kisan Party initiated and the celebrations were headed by Comrade Singaravelar. A resolution saying the government would provide for a national Labor Day holiday for all. May Day has been observed yearly since then.
Speeches provided by leaders of the workers’ unions and cultural activities on this day are popular. Typically on this day schools, colleges and offices are closed.
Facts About May Day In India
Here are some facts in India relating to May Day.
- May Day is known in India as Antarrashtriya Shramik Diwas and is celebrated annually on May 1st. It was first celebrated in the year 1923 in Chennai.
- The celebration was arranged by Malayapuram Singaravelu Chettiar, the influential Communist leader of the Hindustan Labor Kisan Party.
- The festival was conducted in two locations, one at a beach opposite Madras High court and the other at Triplicane Beach. He explained the importance of his group and the labor movement in general in the meetings at these two locations.
- He also said Labor Day or Majdoor Divas will be a holiday.
How Labour Day Celebrated in Different Countries?
- Labor Day is celebrated on May 1st in Algeria and is a public holiday.
- In Ghana, trade unions and labour groups mark the day with a parade.
- Labor Day is celebrated on the 1st Monday of September in the US and Canada. Labor Day is an annual holiday, where people honor the workers’ contributions from various fields.
- Communist countries including Cuba and the countries of the former Soviet Union recognize May Day as a significant event. Especially in these countries, celebrations feature elaborate workforce parades.
International Labour Day Quotes 2020
Here are some quotes you can read on Labor Day. You can also read these quotes to your kids and explain to them that there is no shortcut to success. If one wants to get ahead in life, one has to work hard.
- One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.
- All wealth is the product of labor.
- He who labors diligently need never despair; for all things are accomplished by diligence and labor.
- Genius begins great works; labor alone finishes them. — Joseph Joubert
- “Work isn’t to make money; you work to justify life.” – Marc Chagall
- “Work is no disgrace; the disgrace is idleness.” – Greek Proverb
- “I’ve learned from experience that if you work harder at it and apply more energy and time to it, and more consistency, you get a better result. It comes from work.” – Louis C.K.
- “Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work, one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “There is precious little hope to be got out of whatever keeps us industrious, but there is a chance for us whenever we cease work and become stargazers.” – H.M. Tomlinson.
International Labour Day is a big day for the world’s working class. International Labour Day is a big day for the world’s working class.