In-Depth

May Day, from its very first march

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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.



May Day: Celebrating the Working Class

Fact file

  • » May Day or Labour day - celebrated in around 80 countries to mark the labour movement and worker’s rights - has its origins in the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago.
  • » This Day has its origins in the labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest.
  • » India’s very first Labour Day was celebrated on May 1, 1923 in Chennai, on Marina Beach.
  • » The red flag – now a symbol of the left movement - was used for the first time in India during this event too. A resolution was also passed that the government should declare May Day as a holiday.
  • » The event was organised by the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan and Malayapuram Singaravelu Chettiar, who became one of the founders of the Communist Party of India.
  • » Today in 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.
  • » May 1 is a national holiday in more than 80 countries, including Bolivia, India, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Uruguay, Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, Israel, Philippines, Nepal and Pakistan.

>From The Hindu's Archives

How relevant is May Day in these changing times and is it celebrated with the same vigour by the working class as in the past?

>Work of labour

The Triumph Of Labour statue on Marina Beach in Chennai (then Madras) marks the country’s first May Day celebrations. Read about the real-life models behind the statue.

>Google Doodle celebrates May Day

Google came up with a doodle to mark the public holiday with a display of manual labour tools and a pair of gloves

>Has May Day lost its moorings?

In India, the first Labour Day, or May Day, was celebrated in 1923 in Chennai. Here, from our archives, is The Hindu’s report of the event held on Marina Beach.

(compiled by Internet Desk)


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Printable version | Dec 10, 2018 6:28:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/specials/in-depth/all-you-need-to-know-about-may-day/article7161707.ece

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