May Day / Labour Day in 2018

Public holiday observed in many countries around the world

Labour day

What is May Day?

Who observes May Day in 2018?
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
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic DR Congo DR Congo
East Timor East Timor Egypt Egypt
El Salvador El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea
Ethiopia Ethiopia France France
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 Suriname Suriname
Swaziland Swaziland Sweden Sweden
Switzerland Switzerland (regional) 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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