What is May Day?

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May Day is a famous holiday celebrated by different groups of people even during ancient times. This particular celebration has different meanings to different cultures. During the ancient times, May Day was celebrated on the first day of May with merry-making and partying among pagans. Mischievous activities were often allowed during May Day celebrations. Over several years and decades, many pagans also celebrated this day as a thanksgiving for fertility. Typical May Day holidays also included the burning of offerings like food, flowers, and animals. These activities are done along with the hope that people will be blessed with fertility.

Christians meanwhile celebrate May Day in a different way. The whole month of May is often designated as the month of Mary, Jesus’ mother. Many activities are centered on the church and on the devotion to Mary during May Day. Many of the Christian practices during May Day or the whole month of May was intentionally done to suppress the merry-making associated with this holiday.

In many countries around the world, May Day is also referred to as Labor Day or International Workers’ Day. Typically celebrated on May 1, May Day is said to be a holiday for all workers and employed people across the globe. On this particular day, people typically have street rallies and demonstrations and promote for improvements in terms of their working conditions or salary. This type of May Day celebration originated from the mass labor protests in Chicago back in 1886. These demonstrations eventually led to the standard 8-hour work day for many employees around the world. Back then, the reform in the labor standards across the US was considered a great victory for the basic American worker. This incident in history eventually inspired many other people from different countries to voice out their employment concerns and push for reforms on a special day in May called May Day.