May 1st is celebrated as Labor Day in many parts of the world. It is traditionally celebrated as a spring festival and is known as the International Worker’s Day in 80 countries around the world.
|Labor Day Parade, Union Square, New York, 1882 (Lithographie)|
This is the time of year wherein workers are given paid time off and allowed to relax and enjoy. At the same time, labor unions take to the streets to ask for labor reforms, usually in the form of increase in wages.
Roots of Labor Day
Labor Day only started in the late 19th century, as the world was growing from massive industrialization. The Australians are attributed as being quite progressive in terms of workers and laborers. After all, the people in Australia were the first to advocate an eight-hour workday. This was called the 8-hour day movement. This meant that the 24-hour day should be evenly divided into 8 hours for work, 8 hours for rest and the last 8 hours of the day set aside for recreational activities. The Labor Unions in Australia and in many parts of the world were pushing for better working conditions, including cutting back on working hours.