History and Importance of the International Workers Day

International Workers Day

The International Workers Day is also known as Labor Day. Some countries refer it as the Worker’s Day and most commonly references as the May Day. The day is the celebration of labor and working classes who was promoted by the International Labor Movement which occurs every year’s first May. The day is also an ancient spring festival in Europe. As a result, May 1 is a national holiday in many countries of Europe. The countries are including Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden. But, before we proceed to know the importance and celebration of the day, we’ll know what happened in this day. And why the day was started as the International Workers Day globally.

Table of Content

  • A Brief History of the International Workers Day
  • Recognition of the International Workers Day
  • Celebrations of the International Workers Day
  • Importance of the International Workers Day today
  • What can you do this the International Workers Day?
  • The tree of the International Workers Day
  • Fête de la Terre of the International Workers Day

A Brief History of the International Workers Day

Early in the 19th century, most workers worked 10 to 12 hours every day and six days in every week. It was 1850’s when they brought a strong push to reconstruct the conditions. But, the significant part of the movement starts in Sydney in 1855. When it’s April 21, 1856, the stonemason’s workers perform a well-organized protest in Melbourne where they down their tools and starts walking to the Parliament House. The demands of the workers were for an eight-hour work every day and a 48-hour work instead of 60-hour work every week. As a result, the government grants to an eight-hour day for workers employed on public works, with no loss of pay.

Moreover, the boot makers, Tinsmiths, tailors, stonemasons and metal workers were amongst many of workers’ groups that start protesting for better working conditions across the country. It continues over the next two decades, one by one. And the states brought in the 8-hour-day although the working week was still officially six days up to 1947. But, it changes to five days in 1948 which was the ultimate victory for the labors.

Besides, the history of the Labor Day, or International Workers Day, go back to May 1, 1886. The labor unions in the United States of America is resolute to go on a strike with the demand that workers should not allow working more than 8 hours a day on this day. This strike was followed by a bomb blast in Chicago’s Haymarket Square on the 4th of May. This led to the death of several people and police officers. In addition, more than 100 people were injured in the blast.

Recognition of the International Workers Day

As it’s currently known as the International Workers Day, it also refers to the May Day worldwide. The day celebrates on the first May while celebrating in more than 80 countries in the world. But, the International Workers’ Day traces its international routes back to the 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago, USA. For the day, the universal significance is that, across the world, the eight-hour day considers the fairest working hours in a day for people in all industry. Now-a-day, in Australia, celebrates the day as the Eight-Hour Day and Tasmania as well. But, in the Northern Territory, it observes as the May Day. This year it’ll celebrate on Tuesday where you’ll see marches or parades only usually occur. But, the day is not always there depending on the state government all the time.

Celebrations of the International Workers Day

The International Workers Day celebrations start from the traditional centuries across the world. As you know it also known as the May Day, it celebrates May Day traditions worldwide. But, the May Day is known as Lei Day to celebrate the island’s culture In Hawaii, USA. Besides, May Day still celebrates in many towns with the crowning of the May Queen in the United Kingdom where the Maypoles are found in some towns. And May Day traditions may include hobby horses and local people wearing costumes.

Moreover, as it celebrates all over the world, you’ll find the day with long processions of various labor organizations. In India, the first International Workers Day was celebrated in Madras (Chennai) on the First May of 1923. This is because the initiative was taken by the Hindustan Labor Party and the leader of the party arranges two meetings to celebrate this occasion.

As the time has changed; the way of celebrating the day as well. There are May Day marches and rallies held out in the various part of the country throughout the rest of the world. As you know, a grand May Day march at the famous Brewhouse Yard gardens starts near the Castle, Nottingham in England. But, the way you look at it the theme of the May Day celebration. It’s all about celebrating the renewal of life with new hopes, new dreams, and new resolutions. May Day flower baskets are made and treats are left at the thresholds of the dear ones as a token of good wishes. Also, with love to strengthen the bondage and to rekindle the lost touches.

Importance of the International Workers Day today

The International Workers Day isn’t just a poorly reviewing movie starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin these days. There are still plenty of labor issues at play. In addition to concerns over unemployment rates, the gender wage gap. And a livable minimum wage has been hot topics in recent years. But observing the International Workers Day every year doesn’t really seem to affect very much.

What can you do this the International Workers Day?

If you’re not planning on using your day off to go away for the weekend or throw a barbecue, there’s plenty for you to do not too far from home. You can probably find the International Workers Day sale at your favorite store or car dealership. There are also some “major” TV events happening this year, such as the Lifetime Original Movie “The illegal saving by the Bell Story,” History’s mini-series “Houdini” and a ton of marathons of your favorite movies and TV shows. Go ahead and binge-watch. You deserve it.

The tree of the International Workers Day

This rather quirky the International Workers Day tradition that has mostly fallen out of practice involves young men in some parts of France cutting down a tree during the night between the 30th of April and May 1st and then replanting it by the door of the woman they hope to marry. It was a sign of honor and also a celebration of the arrival of May: the month of trees, water, and nature. Other versions of this tradition saw this May tree places in front of a church or at the home of a newlywed couple.

Fête de la Terre of the International Workers Day

During medieval France, this time was a celebration of the season rather than ‘work’, as it was to become. It names “Fête de la Terre”. This was also a time to celebrate the shepherds, who work in the land. A feast would be hosted for three days in celebration, during which time musical parades would take place with people dancing and riding mules adorned with ribbons through the villages, to an enormous banquet. This tradition is the best preserves in rural areas of France, such as the mountainous department of Isère, or the south-west region of Cahors, where the weekend surrounding the 1st is still one of celebration, using it as an excuse to come together and enjoy the good weather, with parades and markets of regional products.

Finally, the International Workers Day comes with many significant hopes and importance to the common workers. The day celebrates with full respect and honor to the labors of the world. Although the meaning and expectation of the day are same, the day celebrates worldwide with various themes. Most of the countries around the world celebrate the day where it seems to protect labor rights.

Educated in English graduation from the National University of Bangladesh. A Professional content writer-cum-virtual assistant at CodeCares.

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