International Labour Day or May Day 2024 : Theme, History

International Labour Day or May Day:- May Day is a public holiday usually celebrated on May 1st. It is an ancient northern hemisphere spring festival and a traditional spring holiday in many cultures. International Workers’ Day may also be referred to as “May Day”, but it is a different celebration from the traditional May Day.

It has also been declared a national holiday in almost 80 countries of the world whereas it is being celebrated as an unofficial event in most countries.

In the US and Canada, it is (Labour Day) celebrated on the 1st Monday of September month as an annual holiday for celebrating the great achievements of the workers working in various fields.

International Labour Day or May Day 2024

International Labour Day 2024 will be celebrated by people (socialists and labor unions) all over the world on the 1st of May, on Wednesday.

History of International Labour Day or May Day 2024

It commemorates the Haymarket affair (Haymarket Massacre) that occurred in Chicago on the 4th of May of 1886, hence the name International Workers’ Day.

It is the big event of that year when workers were on a general strike for their eight-hour workday and police were doing their job of dispersing the general public from the crowd.

Here is a real statement about the event: “Reliable witnesses testified that all the pistol flashes came from the center of the street, where the police were standing, and none from the crowd. Moreover, initial newspaper reports made no mention of firing by civilians. A telegraph pole at the scene was filled with bullet holes, all coming from the direction of the police.”

It was decided to be celebrated on an annual basis as a May Day at the meeting (in 1889) of Paris through a proposal by Raymond Lavigne that international demonstrations should be organized to commemorate the Chicago protests. As an annual event, May Day became officially recognized by the second congress of the International in 1891.

However, May Day Riots occurred in the year 1894 and then in the year 1904, the following statement was given at the International Socialist Conference in Amsterdam “all Social Democratic Party organizations and trade unions of all countries to demonstrate energetically on May First for the legal establishment of the 8-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace.” and declared it “mandatory upon the proletarian organizations of all countries to stop work on May 1, wherever it is possible without injury to the workers.”

Why do we Celebrate International Labour Day or May Day?

International Labour Day or May Day is celebrated to finish the struggle as well as to promote the requirement of the eight-hour workday. Earlier the working conditions of the laborer were very severe and working hours were 10 to 16 hours a day even in unsafe conditions.

Deaths, injuries, and other dreadful conditions of the workers were very common at the workplace during the 1860s and working people were very agitated throughout the workday until the 8-hour workday was declared.

The rising death of working-class people (men, women, and children) in many working industries, required them to raise their voices for the safety of the working group people by decreasing their working hours in the industries.

In Chicago in 1884, the American Federation of Labor declared eight hours to be the legal working time for workers after many efforts made by workers and socialists.

Chicago’s Haymarket Massacre took place during the strike workers’ strike and many people lost their lives.

The purpose of May Day is to commemorate the Haymarket Massacre as well as to celebrate the social and economic achievements of the working class.

How to Celebrate International Labour Day or May Day?

Workers around the world celebrate International Labor Day as an official holiday every year.

People enjoy celebrating May Day or Labour Day by arranging a big party and lots of programs. They decorate the banners and flags using colors just like an Independence Day celebration.

To increase social awareness about Labor Day, TV channels and radio stations broadcast a variety of news and messages saying Happy Labor Day.

The International Labour Organization also organizes a variety of events on this day. The theme of the Labour Day party celebration becomes cartoon characters, western culture shows, sports, TV shows, movies, holiday activities, crazy fun activities, and many more. Other Labor Day activities include a crossword puzzle, anagram puzzle, word search puzzle, code-cracker puzzle, word scramble puzzle, phrase matching game puzzle, etc.

Throughout the world, this celebration has gained historic significance, and labor unions all over the world celebrate it. Under security arrangements to protect against violence, the working group people organize demonstrations, speeches, protest processions, rallies, and parades.

Top 10 Quick Facts about International Labour Day

  • Labor Day Began in Chicago as a protest campaign in support of the eight-hour workday.
  • On May 1st, 1886, workers took to the streets across the USA to reduce the workday to eight-hour shifts.
  • OREGON was the first US State which celebrated Labor Day as a legal holiday in 1887.
  • Labor Day has been a day for parades, rallies, and other celebrations or Workers’ classes.
  • Hundreds of countries around the world have recognized International Worker’s Day however only about 80 countries celebrate the day as National Holiday.
  • The International Labor Organization deals with Labor issues on an international level.
  • Unions and other labor groups plan to use the Holiday to fight for workers’ rights.
  • By 2030 the Total workforce of the world is predicted to increase to slightly more than 4 Billion.

The Theme of International Labour Day or May Day

Every year International Worker’s Day is celebrated under a specific theme. A few of the past years’ declared themes are as follows:

  • The theme of International Labour Day of 2023 wasA safe and healthy working environment as a fundamental principle and right at work”
  • The theme of International Labour Day of 2022 wasUniversal Social Protection to End Child Labor”
  • The theme of International Labour Day of 2021 was “International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD)”
  • The theme of International Labour Day of 2020 was “Maintaining Safety and Security at the Workplace”
  • The theme of International Labour Day of 2019 was “Uniting Workers for Social and Economic Advancement.”
  • The theme of International Labour Day of 2017 was “Preserve Our National Heritage.”
  • The theme of International Labour Day of 2016 was “Celebrating the international labor movement”.
  • The theme of International Labour Day of 2015 was “Construct the Future of Cameroon in Peace, Solidarity and Decent Work”.
  • The theme of International Labour Day of 2014 was “Providing the Job with helping of the Capital by giving value the work”.
  • The theme of International Labour Day of 2013 was “Let’s value work by providing the jobless with start-up capital support”.
  • The theme of International Labour Day of 2012 was “Promote Employment by Supporting Prospective Entrepreneurs”.

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May Social Events Date of Celebration
International Labour Day 1st May
World Press Freedom Day 3rd May
International Midwives Day 5th May
World Asthma Day 5th May
World Thalassemia Day 8th May
World Red Cross Day 8th May
National Technology Day 11th May
Mother’s Day 10th May
International Nurses Day 12th May
International Day of Families 15th May
World Hypertension Day 17th May
World No Tobacco Day 31st May