May Day / Labour Day in 2019

Public holiday observed in many countries around the world

Labour day

What is May Day?

Who observes May Day in 2019?
Afghanistan Afghanistan Albania Albania
Algeria Algeria Angola Angola
Anguilla Anguilla Argentina Argentina
Aruba Aruba Austria Austria
Bahrain Bahrain Bangladesh Bangladesh
Barbados Barbados Belarus Belarus
Belgium Belgium Belize Belize
Benin Benin Bolivia Bolivia
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Botswana
Brazil Brazil Bulgaria Bulgaria
Burkina Faso Burkina Faso Burundi Burundi
Cambodia Cambodia Cameroon Cameroon
Central African Republic Central African Republic Chad Chad
Chile Chile China China
Colombia Colombia Congo Congo
Costa Rica Costa Rica Croatia Croatia
Cuba Cuba Curaçao Curaçao
Cyprus Cyprus Czech Republic Czech Republic
Denmark Denmark Djibouti Djibouti
DR Congo DR Congo East Timor East Timor
Ecuador Ecuador Egypt Egypt
El Salvador El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea
Ethiopia Ethiopia France France
French Guiana French Guiana French Polynesia French Polynesia
Gabon Gabon Gambia Gambia
Germany Germany Ghana Ghana
Gibraltar Gibraltar Greece Greece
Grenada Grenada Guadeloupe Guadeloupe
Guatemala Guatemala Guinea Guinea
Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau Guyana Guyana
Haiti Haiti Honduras Honduras
Hong Kong Hong Kong Hungary Hungary
Iceland Iceland India India (regional)
Indonesia Indonesia Iraq Iraq
Italy Italy Ivory Coast Ivory Coast
Jordan Jordan Kenya Kenya
Kosovo Kosovo Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan
Lao Lao Latvia Latvia
Lebanon Lebanon Lesotho Lesotho
Libya Libya Liechtenstein Liechtenstein
Lithuania Lithuania Luxembourg Luxembourg
Macau Macau Macedonia Macedonia
Madagascar Madagascar Malawi Malawi
Malaysia Malaysia Maldives Maldives
Mali Mali Malta Malta
Martinique Martinique Mauritania Mauritania
Mauritius Mauritius Mexico Mexico
Moldova Moldova Montenegro Montenegro
Morocco Morocco Mozambique Mozambique
Myanmar Myanmar Namibia Namibia
Nicaragua Nicaragua Niger Niger
Nigeria Nigeria North Korea North Korea
Norway Norway Pakistan Pakistan
Panama Panama Paraguay Paraguay
Peru Peru Philippines Philippines
Poland Poland Portugal Portugal
Romania Romania Russia Russia
Rwanda Rwanda Saint Lucia Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Senegal Senegal
Serbia Serbia Seychelles Seychelles
Singapore Singapore Slovakia Slovakia
Slovenia Slovenia South Africa South Africa
South Korea South Korea Spain Spain
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Suriname Suriname
Swaziland Swaziland Sweden Sweden
Switzerland Switzerland (regional) Taiwan Taiwan
Tajikistan Tajikistan Tanzania Tanzania
Thailand Thailand Togo Togo
Tunisia Tunisia Turkey Turkey
Uganda Uganda Ukraine Ukraine
Uruguay Uruguay Vatican City Vatican City
Venezuela Venezuela Vietnam Vietnam
Yemen Yemen Zambia Zambia
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe
May Day 2018 holidays by country

May Day is now most commonly associated as a commemoration of the achievements of the labour movement. The holiday may also be known as Labour Day or International Worker's Day and is marked with a public holiday in over 80 countries.

The 1 May 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 1 May 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.

1 May is celebrated as May Day in most countries around the world. In the United Kingdom and Ireland the bank holiday isn't fixed on May 1st, but instead is observed on the first Monday of May.

In the 20th century, the holiday received the official endorsement of the Soviet Union, and 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 as well as shows of common people in support of the government.

Curiously (given the origin of the 1 May date), the United States celebrates Labor Day on the first Monday of September (1 May is Loyalty Day, a legal but not widely recognized holiday 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. The adoption of May Day by communists and socialists as their primary holiday have been as a another reason as they further inceased official resistance to May Day labor celebrations in America.

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

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

The first day of May was also a pagan holiday in many parts of Europe, Its roots as a holiday stretch back to the Gaelic Beltane. It was considered the last day of winter when the beginning of summer was celebrated.

During Roman times, 1 May was seen as a key period to celebrate fertility and the arrival of spring. The Roman festival of Flora, the goddess of flowers and the season of spring, was held between 28 April and 3 May.

May Day / Labour Day around the world


Traditional English May Day rites and celebrations include Morris dancing, crowning a May Queen, and dancing around a Maypole; festivities which made it a popular seasonal celebration in medieval England.


See Vappu


Labour Day was established as an official holiday in 1933 after the NSDAP rose to power. It was supposed to symbolize the new found unity between the state and the working classes. Ironically, just one day later, on May 2 1933, all free unions were outlawed and destroyed. But since the holiday had been celebrated by German workers for many decades before the official state endorsement, the NSDAP attempt to appropriate it left no long-term resentment.


In India, the first formal celebration of Labour Day was instigated by the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan in Chennai (known as Madras) on 1 May 1923. It is observed as a holiday in Assam, Bihar, Goa, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Manipur, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and West Bengal.

It is celebrated as Antarrashtriya Shramik Diwas and is also known as Kamgar Din in Hindi, Kamgar Divas in Marathi and Uzhaipalar Dhinam in Tamil.


A key May Day (La Festa dei Lavoratori) celebration in Italy is the the annual Concerto del Primo Maggio which takes place in Rome and is  attended by more than half a million people.


In Sweden May day is also a Christian celebration; the Mass of Saint Walburga or Walpurgis Night is celebrated on the evening of 30 April.


In Switzerland, Labour Day is a holiday in the following 11 cantons: Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Fribourg, Jura, Neuchâtel, Schaffhausen, Solothurn, Thurgau, Ticino and Zurich. The status of the holiday may vary between the cantons, for instance in Solothurn, it is a holiday in the afternoon.

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