May Day 2024: International Labour Day History, Holiday or Not

May Day 2024, also known as International Labour Day or Worker’s Day, will be celebrated all over the world on May 1, 2024. The aim behind observing this day is to draw people’s attention towards the labour in their countries. Other than commemorating the contributions of workers, May Day is also related to many historic labour movements worldwide.

India too celebrates its workers day on 1 May and it is observed as May Day. This day is normally celebrated by giving a day off to the labours and employees and some organization may also organize speeches and cultural events. Complete details related to May Day 2024 such as significance, celebrations, etc are provided here in this article.


Labour Day 2024 Overview

Event May Day 2024
Also Known as Labour Day, International Worker’s Day
Labour Day 2024 DateMay 1, 2024
Day Wednesday
Labour Day 2025 DateMay 1, 2025
Labour Day 2026 DateMay 1, 2026

Holiday on May Day 2024

International Labour Day is an official public holiday in many countries around the world including India. Many Indian states including West Bengal, Sikkim, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and others observe a public holiday on May 1 and dedicate the date to labors and working class people. Government offices, schools, banks and many private office in such states remain close on the occasion of labour day.

Apart from Labour Day, Indian states of Maharashtra and Gujarat observe their statehood day on May 1. This marks the day in the year 1960 when these two states were formed on linguistic basis. Thus in India, May 1 is also celebrated as ‘Maharashtra Day’ and ‘Gujarat Day’.

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History of Labour Day

The actual origin of May Day or Labour’s Day is stated back to the time of industrialization in 19th century. Labour class was exploited to the fullest and were forced to work for up to 15 hours a day. On May 1 1886, the labours stood up for their rights and began a very peaceful protest against their poor condition and unfair treatment at Haymarket Square in Chicago. In their strike they were demanding eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest. The labour movement is thus also known as the eight-hour day movement.

On 3rd May, some policemen assaulted, beat and injured the peaceful protesters, killing one of them as well. On the next day, i.e., May 4, someone threw a bomb at the Haymarket Square the that injured many labours and killed seven police officers and four civilians.  Eight anarchists were caught and convicted of conspiracy of the bombing and sentenced to death. However, there was no proof that those eight people were the conspirators and  this resulted in a major upthrust in the world. Proposals were made and in the year 1889 May 1 was decided to be observed as the International Workers’ Day to commemorate the event at the Haymarket Square called as Haymarket Massacre. US imposed the eight-hour working rule in the year 1916 after several years of protest.

Labour Day 2024 Date in India

Although the origin of May Day is related to the uprising made by the US labours, various other countries have their own origin story behind the celebration of May Day. However, the motive and idea behind the celebration are the same for all countries around the world and that is honoring the labour class for their service and to work toward the betterment of their condition.

In India, observation of May 1 as May Day began in the year 1923. The first may day event was organized and celebrated by the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan in Madras (now  Chennai in Tamil Nadu state) on May 1, 1923. The day is associated with labour movements for communist and socialist political parties. May Day is also known as ‘Kamgar Din’  ‘Antarrashtriya Shramik Diwas, ‘Kamgar Divas’ and ‘Uzhaipalar Naal’ in different states of India.

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Significance & Celebration of May Day

Irrespective of the varying origin of Labour Day celebration, the meaning and celebration remains the same and that is to commemorate the contribution made by the workers towards the development of society.

Issues like workers’ rights violations, poor working conditions, stretched working hours, low wages and many still remain and the labours around us are getting affected by these. May Day not just honors the workers but also to take steps and measures for the betterment of their conditions.


When is Labour Day celebrated?

Labour Day is celebrated every year on May 1.

Is Labour day a national holiday in India?

Yes in many states of India.

On which day the United States and Canada celebrate labour day?

First Monday of September

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