International Labour Day | Origin & Trivia

International Labour Day | Origin & Trivia

International Workers' Day, often referred to as May Day, is a celebration of labourers and the working classes that is promoted by the international labour movement which occurs every year on May Day (1 May), an ancient European spring festival.  


It all started On May 1, 1886, when workers took to the streets across the United States to reduce the workday to eight-hour shifts.

Labour Day annually celebrates the achievements of the workers. The day has a different story for different countries, the main reason for Labour Day is unfair treatment of the labour class.

Australian Trivia

The number eight has often been spotted on many union buildings in Australia to symbolize an eight-hour working day. The Eight-Hour monument featuring a golden globe bearing the 888 symbol was built in Spring Street in Melbourne in 1903.

Indian Trivia

Labour Day Or May Day is called Antarrashtriya Shramik Diwas or Kamgar Din in India. It is also referred to as International Workers' Day or just Worker's Day.

In India, the first Labour day or May Day was celebrated in the year 1923. It was the Labour Kisan Party who had organized the May Day celebrations in Chennai (then Madras). One of these was organized at Triplicane Beach and the other one was arranged at the beach opposite Madras High Court.

May Day is a nationwide bank and public holiday in India. In Maharashtra and Gujarat, it is officially called Maharashtra Day and Gujarat Day respectively, since it was on this day in 1960 that they attained statehood after the old Bombay State became divided on linguistic lines.

Interesting Facts

  • In 1887, Oregon was the first state to make Labour Day a legal holiday.
  • Labour Day originally was meant to recognize the contributions of the American workforce, and it had strong ties to the labour union movement. Today, it is seen more as a chance to celebrate the (unofficial) last weekend of summer.
  • Throughout much of the 19th century, it was common for American labourers to work 12-hour days to make a living. Children often worked in factories and mines, and there were few regulations to support workers. On September 3, 1916, the Adamson Act was passed by Congress, establishing an eight-hour workday.
  • As Labour Day has often been seen as the unofficial end of summer, many upper-class citizens would pack away their lightweight, white summer clothes as they returned back to work and school. This had led to the expression no white after Labour Day.
  • Labour Day marks the end of peak hot dog season. From Memorial Day to Labour Day, Americans eat roughly 7 billion hot dogs. After Labour Day, many Americans will start obsessing over pumpkin spice.
  • 1st May is also celebrated as Maharashtra Day & Gujrat Day as this day in 1960 embarked the formation of Maharashtra and Gujrat

No Work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence. 
-Martin Luther King, Jr

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