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  Wikipedia: May Day

Wikipedia: May Day
May Day
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

See: Mayday for the distress signal

May Day is a name for various holidays celebrated on May 1.

The holiday is most often associated with the commemoration of the social and economic achievements of the labor movement. The May 1st date is used because in 1884 the American Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions demanded an eight-hour workday, to come in effect as of May 1, 1886. This resulted in the general strike and the Haymarket Riot of 1886, but eventually also in the official sanction of the eight-hour workday.

May Day is celebrated as Labour Day in many countries including the United Kingdom. It is also celebrated as the Day of the International Solidarity of Workers, especially in some Communist states.

Celebrations in communist countries during the Cold War era often consisted of large military parades with the latest weaponry being exhibited.

Curiously (given the origin of the May 1st date), the United States celebrates Labor Day on the first Monday of September; May 1st is Loyalty Day in the United States. There is some suggestion that the reason for this was to avoid the commemoration of riots that had occurred in 1886.

Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands also celebrate Labour Day on different dates, that has to do with how the holiday originated in those countries.

May Day graffiti in Berlin. The text reads, "May 1st: Cars burn, bulls die". "Bullen" is a derogatory German term for the police approximately equivalent to "pigs" in English.

May Day has long been a focal point for demonstrations by various Communist, socialist, and anarchist groups.

Berlin, Germany traditionally has yearly demonstrations on May Day. For reasons that are not clear, the demonstrations became yearly riots during the 1980s. Rioters have been dealt with severely by police, though in recent years an official nonescalation policy was implemented, which seems to have reduced the overall level of May Day violence in Berlin.

May Day also marks springtime celebrations such as:

Traditional English May Day rites and celebrations include Morris dancing, crowning a May Queen, and dancing around a Maypole.

These holidays were also respected by some early European settlers of the American continent.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
Modified by Geona