The International Labor Day also called May Day is celebrated to honor the struggle of the working class who protested against the unfair treatment meted out towards them.
In the late nineteenth century, the Labor Unions in the USA passed a resolution demanding the working hours to be restricted to 8 hours. The laborers were forced to work ten, twelve or even fourteen hours a day and the demand for shorter working hours gained momentum. The workers went on a strike and held rallies.
To counter act this movement, the government used violence and the police opened fire on the strikers killing four and wounding several. A rally was held the next day by the strikers to condemn the incidence however someone from the rally threw a bomb at the police contingent which resulted in the death of one policeman and caused injuries to many. The police responded by opening fire causing more casualties.
The sacrifices and struggles of the workers later bore fruit and the workers all over the world not only got their desired 8 hours working day but 1st May was also declared a public holiday to signify its importance.
Ironically, Labor Day is not celebrated in the USA on 1st May. May Day is celebrated by holding rallies and speeches and paying homage to those who strives for better working conditions.
In 1995, the Catholic Church dedicated 1st May to the patron of workers and craftsmen Saint Joseph. Some countries celebrate Labor Day on days significant to them. United States and Canada celebrate it on the first Monday of September.
May Day is one of the most important holiday’s communist countries such as China, North Korea, Cuba and former Soviet Union countries. In these countries, the day usually features elaborate workforce parades which includes military and soldiers.