“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
“No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
International Workers’ Day also known as the Labour Day or May Day is a day when most of us sit back and relax because it is a holiday in many countries including India. This day is observed in dedication to the labourers and workers who have been the driving force behind the economic and industrial progress of the nation. The Labour Day reminds us that labourers or workers are the real architects of the society and over the years, they have played a crucial role in the growth of the nation. On this occasion, we bring to you a few facts about the International Workers’ Day.
- May Day is considered to be an ancient spring festival and a holiday in many countries that involves a lot of dancing and singing.
- International Workers’ Day is observed as a national holiday across 80 countries including India.
- This day was incepted during the U.S. labour movement when workers fought for their rights seeking for better working conditions, good wages and union representation in the late 19th century.
- The first Labour Day holiday was observed in New York City on the September 5, 1882.
- This day actually advocates for eight hours of work, recreation, and rest schedule.
- This day has religious significance too with the Catholic Church dedicating May 1 to “Saint Joseph the Worker” — the patron saint of workers and craftsmen in 1955.
- On May Day, large military parades were held in Red Square by the Soviet Union which were attended by the top leaders during the Cold War.
- In India, May Day is celebrated as the Antarrashtriya Shramik Diwas.
- The very first Labour Day celebration in India was observed on May 1, 1923 in Chennai.
- One of the founders of the Communist Party of India and a champion of workers’ rights, Malayapuram Singaravelu Chettiar, launched the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan on May Day.
- The Labour Statue on the Marina Beach in Chennai reminds us of the first Labour Day that was observed in the country.
- This day is also celebrated as the “Maharashtra Day” and “Gujarat Day” since these two states attained the statehood after the Bombay State was divided on linguistic lines in 1960.
- Today, Shramik Diwas celebrations are held in many parts of the country in the form of campaigns and events.