The 1st of May, is both International Workers’ Day and May Day, a public holiday in many countries.
In Spain, the tradition of celebrating International Workers’ Day is a relatively recent custom, as during Franco’s dictatorship it was banned. After the fall of the dictatorship in 1975, many things changed throughout Spain, including the custom of celebrating International Workers’ Day and in 1977 the day became a national public holiday.
Throughout Gran Canaria shopping areas, including supermarkets, will be closed as well as all public offices. Although you will find smaller shops, bars and restaurants open in the tourist areas, this is certainly not the day to venture up to Las Palmas, the island’s capital, for some retail therapy!
Throughout Spain, workers and their unions will be taking to the streets in large demonstrations marking the importance of ‘Workers’ Day’.
In the Northern Hemisphere May 1st is also celebrated for being the first official day of spring.
In the UK, May Day, a celebration borne of Pagan roots, marks the beginning of spring and is a public holiday, as it is in many parts of Northern Europe.
May Day is celebrated with the fun tradition of Morris dancing, a type of folk dance famed for its jovial style. The dancers wear bells on their shins and sometimes wield sticks, swords and handkerchiefs during the dancing.
In Finland the celebrations begin on the Eve of the 1st, when predominately the younger generation take to the streets to ‘crown’ statues with ‘student caps’. On May 1st celebrations continue with outdoor picnics.
International Worker’s Day is also marked strongly and demonstrations will take place in towns and cities throughout the country.
Throughout the world, International Workers’ Day or Labour Day and May Day will be celebrated with aplomb, how do people in your country traditionally celebrate and what will you be doing to mark the day?
Tell us in the comments below.