In the United States of America and Canada, the first Monday in September is observed as Labour Day whilst the first Sunday in May is celebrated as Labour Day in Britain.
It was in the centenary year of the French Revolution that the Second International, meeting in Congress in Paris on July 20, 1889, decided that May 1 every year, should be observed as International Labour Day.
The decision resulted in the first May Day being held in 1890. However, May Day came to be celebrated officially at an international level only in 1917. Labour unions in the United States of America decided to go on a strike with the demand that workers should not be allowed to work more than 8 hours a day. This strike was followed by a bomb blast in Chicago’s Haymarket Square on May 4. This led to the death of several people and police officers.
Red was selected as the colour of the workers in recognition of the blood-shed during the struggle.
In India, the first Labour Day, or May Day, was celebrated in 1923 in Chennai. Today around India, organisations and trade unions arrange pageants, children enter contests so they can understand the importance of fairness for workers, and political leaders make speeches.
The day is a special occasion when people worldwide celebrate the true spirit of the working class. It’s a day when workers get together and showcase their strength which indicates how effectively they can struggle to bring in positive reforms for the working class of the society.
Prime Minister Modi tweeted, “On this day, on Labour Day we salute the determination & hardwork of countless workers who play a big role in India’s progress.”