May Day: The purpose of the day is to commemorate the efforts and victories of the workers' class and the labour movement.
May Day, also known as International Workers' Day, is celebrated in over 80 countries across the world on May 1. The purpose of the day is to commemorate the efforts and victories of the workers' class and the labour movement. In several countries, Labour Day or May Day is also a national holiday. Today is public holiday in Nepal as well.
The day is set aside to revisit and acknowledge the historic struggles and the subsequent gains that have shaped the ideas of social justice and basic rights in workplaces across the world.
In addition to remembering the past, efforts are also made to empower the workers of today with the required knowledge of their rights and responsibilities.
It was the Second International, an organisation of socialist and labour parties, that declared May 1 as the International Workers' Day in 1889. May 1 was chosen as the date for International Worker's Day to commemorate the Haymarket Riot in Chicago in 1886. The Haymarket Riot, which was a violent confrontation between police and labour protesters, soon became a symbol of workers' rights across the world. While the massacre itself occurred on May 4, the protest that led up to it – a peaceful rally in support of workers striking for an eight-hour workday – began on May 1.
Traditionally, May 1 was associated with a rural pagan festival celebrating the arrival of spring, across Europe. However, over the years, the day has come to be recognised for its association with the Labour Movement.
The implications of May Day have changed drastically in the most-pandemic world. Explaining further, the International Labour Organization said that in the post-pandemic world building back the labour community requires making deliberate and coherent policy choices.” This includes not only generating jobs but also providing decent working conditions for everybody, extending social protection, protecting workers' rights and encouraging social dialogue.