International Workers Day is an annual worldwide holiday dedicated to social unity and revitalization, and it was also created as a symbol of support for the rights of all workers. In general, May 1 plays a major role in a variety of cultures. It is truly a worldwide holiday, with its own meaning for each person.
Before we get into the history of International Workers Day, it’s worth noting that May Day is an important Celtic holiday. In this culture it was called “Belthane” and marked the arrival of a real, warm spring. On this day, they made bonfires and decorated their homes with May flowers. In the forests, the tallest trees were sought, they signified male fertility. Women wove baskets and wreaths, symbols of female fertility.
In the 19th century, May 1 came to mean a holiday to honor workers’ struggles for decent working conditions. Since then it has gained worldwide recognition, and the ancient cultural meaning of the holiday has lost its relevance. In April 1856 mass strikes of workers began in Australia, later similar protests took place in the United States and other countries. People demanded better working conditions, shorter working hours and higher wages. Later, the International Workers Day was officially established, which fell on May 1.
- From 1980 to 2009, there was no celebration of May 1 in Turkey.
- Worker strikes in the 19th century contributed to the emergence of the Occupational Safety and Health system, which today is fundamental to the formation of safe working conditions at work.
- The name of the 3rd month of spring comes from the Goddess Maya, who was considered a symbol of fertility, the patron of the earth.
How to celebrate
Be a part of the many events taking place on International Workers Day. Learn more facts about the history of this day. What are the particularities of the celebration in different countries?
Tell about the holiday on social networks. Ask users if they have any traditions on this day.
When is International Workers’ Day celebrated in 2024?
International Workers’ Day is observed on May 1 each year.