International Labour Day – Date, History, Significance and Celebrations

International Labour Day - Date, History, Significance and Celebrations_408470611

International Labour Day or Labour Day is celebrated in many countries on May the 1st every year. Labour Day is considered as a national holiday in many countries to celebrate the economic and social achievements of the labourers or the workforce. Labour Day has its origin in the labour union movement which originated in the United States which advocates the eight-hour work policy. The eight hour day movement advocates the eight hours of work, eight hours of recreation and eight hours of rest.

What Is International Labour Day?

International Labour Day, also known as Labour Day or May Day is celebrated globally on the 1st of May every year. This day is celebrated in order to commemorate the contribution and achievements of the working class which was promoted by the International Labour Movement, that had gained momentum in the 19th Century in Chicago during industrialization. It was a movement initiated by the workers to raise their voice against exploitation by the industrialist and provide them with better and safe working conditions. A public holiday is observed in many countries on International Labour Day.

The theme of International Labour Day this year, which is on Wednesday, 1st May 2019 is “ Uniting Workers for Social and Economic Advancement”.

When Do We Celebrate Labour Day & Why?

May 1 was chosen as an International Labour Day to pay a tribute to the workers who had to give their life in the bloody massacre in Haymarket, Chicago, demonstrating for the better working condition of the labourers or working class. May 1 is celebrated as Labour Day and considered as a public holiday in many countries, though there are few countries who celebrate Labour Day on different days. For example, the US celebrates Labour Day on the 1st Monday in the month of September. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, Labour Day is celebrated on the first Monday in May. We in India celebrate Labour Day on May 1 every year and this year it falls on Wednesday, 1st May 2019.

How To Celebrate Labour Day In India?

Celebrate Labour Day in India

Labour Day is celebrated on 1st May every year in India to recognise the contribution of the working class. It is considered a public holiday.

Labour Day was celebrated for the first time in India in the year 1923, in Chennai (Madras). The Labour Day celebrations were organized by Labour Kisan Party at two places, one was at Triplicane Beach and the other was at the beach opposite to Madras High Court.

People from all walks of life come together to celebrate Labour Day. Many rallies and processions are organized by the trade unions. Many working men and women participate in processions and rallies to raise awareness about and talk about safeguarding their rights and interests. Many Labour organizations arrange for public forums, where the working class can raise their issues and concerns they are facing in their workplaces. Public speeches of leaders of Trade Unions are conducted at various places to make people aware of the new reforms and many new proposals to improve the working conditions of the working class. Various competitions and contests are arranged at schools and colleges to make children aware of the Importance of Labour Day and to make them understand the strength of togetherness and unity. In this way, they are in a better position to understand their duties and rights as an individual and as a citizen of India. This is the day when the working class comes together to showcase their strength and unity to bring in new reforms which will raise the socio-economic standard of the working class.

Why Is Labour Day Celebrated?

During the period of Industrialization, in the early 19th Century, the working condition of the labourers deteriorated as the industrialists seemed to be exploiting the working class. The labourers were made to work 15 hours a day, 7 days a week without providing them with proper working conditions. Even children were made to toil in mills and factories and were paid bare minimum wages. The workers rose against the exploitation and demanded better working condition, paid leaves and proper wages. It all started in 1886, with the Federation of Organized Trades and Labour Unions choosing May 1, 1886, a day when the eight hour day work would become standard. The Labour Unions had organized a general strike in Haymarket, Chicago on May 1, 1886, demanding the eight hour day work policy. Initially what seemed to be peaceful general strike turned violent with the police firing on the workers when an unidentified person threw a bomb, which led to the death of many workers. This incident that leads to the massacre of several workers was known as the Haymarket massacre or Haymarket affair. In order to commemorate the Haymarket massacre that happened in Chicago and to pay a tribute to all those who lost their lives in this massacre, it was decided by a pan-national organization of socialist and communist parties, to internationally celebrate 1st May as a Labour Day.

30 Best Labour Day Quotes

Labour Day Quotes

1. “Work isn’t to make money. You work to justify life”

2. “God give me work till my life shall end, And life till my work is done.” » Epitaph

3. “Work keeps at bay three great evils: boredom, vice, and need.” » Voltaire

4. “A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is visible labour and there is an invisible labour.” » Victor Hugo

5. “It is labour indeed that puts the difference on everything.” » John Locke

6. “Without Labour Nothing Prospers”- Sophocles

7. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” » Karl Marx

8. “There is precious little hope to be got out of whatever keeps us industrious, but there is a chance for us whenever we cease work and become star-gazer.” » H.M. Tomlinson

9. “A mind always employed is always happy. This is the true secret, the grand recipe, for Felicity.” » Thomas Jefferson

10. “There is nothing laudable in work for work’s sake.” » John Stuart Mill

11. “God sells us all things at the price of labour.” » Leonardo da Vinci

12. “The end of Labour is to gain Leisure”

13. “If wars are eliminated and production is organized scientifically, it is probable that four hours’ work a day will suffice to keep everybody in comfort.” » Bertrand Russell

14. “God give me work, till my life shall end And life, till my work is done.” » Epitaph

15. “Without labour, nothing prospers.” » Sophocles

16. “Labour was the first price, the original purchase-money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased.” » Adam Smith

17. “Physical labour not only does not exclude the possibility of mental activity but improves and stimulates it.” » Leo Tolstoy

18. “There is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.” » Booker T. Washington

19. “Labour is the only prayer that Nature answers.” » Robert Green Ingersoll

20. “Work isn’t to make money; you work to justify life.” » Marc Chagall

21. “Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labour by taking up another.” » Anatole France

22. “In any given group, the most will do the least and the least the most.” » Merle P. Martin

23. “The man who doesn’t relax and hoot a few hoots voluntarily, now and then, is in great danger of hooting hoots and standing on his head for the edification of the pathologist and trained nurse, a little later on.” » Elbert Hubbard

24. “In proportion as the principle of the division of labour is more extensively applied, the workman becomes more weak, more narrow-minded, and more dependent. The art advances, the artisan recedes.” » Alexis De Tocqueville

25. “Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” » Ovid

26. “The only liberty an inferior man really cherishes is the liberty to quit work, stretch out in the sun, and scratch himself.” » H.L. Mencken

27. “Labour rids us of three great evils; tediousness, vice, and poverty.”

28. “All labour that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” » Martin Luther King

29. “He who labours diligently need never despair; for all things are accomplished by diligence and labour.” » Menander

30. “Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it’s essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which colour to slide down on the rainbow.” » Douglas Pagels

15 Best Labour Day Wishes

Labour Day Wishes

1. “The true meaning of Labour Day is remembering those who have given their time, best efforts and worked hard in their lives for this blessed country. Happy Labour Day.”

2. “As summer winds down, you deserve a day of rest and relaxation. Have a happy Labour Day.”

3. “From field to field, and desk to desk, your hard work is what makes our nation the best! Happy Labour Day.”

4. “As summer winds down, you deserve a day of rest and relaxation. Have a Happy Labour Day”.

5. A worker is a creator and a great asset to every nation. Happy Worker’s Day.

6. Here goes a famous saying “Work hard and party harder. Happy Labour Day.

7. The highest pleasure to be got out of freedom, and having nothing to do, is labour. Happy Labour Day.

8. Neither silver nor gold was the ransom for our living standard; congratulations, your sweat paid the price. Happy Labour Day.

9. Labour disgraces no man; unfortunately, you occasionally find men who disgrace labour.Happy Labour Day.

10. “You work so hard all year through, I hope you relax, take it easy and have fun. Happy Labour Day!”

11. “I hope you enjoy a restful day in the company of family and great friends. Happy Labour Day!”

12. Salute you on a Special Day For all the hard work you do Celebrate With Joy This very very happy May 1st Workers Day.

13. Happy Labour Day! Remember that labour means hard-work but not at the cost of being deprived of your rights.

14. Labour Day marks not just the triumph of worker’s spirit but a renewal of fertile goddess of creativity and human dignity. Wishing You Happy Labour Day.

15. Labour is the ladder through which human dignity and creative excellence is expressed. Happy Labour Day.

What Is May Day? Why May Day Is Known As Labour Day?

From ancient times in many countries of Northern Hemisphere, May Day is celebrated on 1st May every year which is considered as a spring festival and a traditional spring holiday in many cultures. People indulge in dance, song and parting to welcome the season of joy as per ancient custom in many countries. In later 19th Century, it was declared to celebrate International Labour Day on 1st of May. Hence, May Day is the celebration of the spring festival as well as a day to celebrate the achievements of workers.

So, on this Labour Day, let’s all come together and stand united to bring in better reforms for the development of our country, its labourers as well as ourselves.

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Akhila Menon
Akhila has started her career as a Data Analyst. From her school days, she was passionate about writing short stories, essay writing and about current events. She has kickstarted her career in a new direction and got into content writing and started to write articles for a general readership. She has written a few short stories for kid’s weekly publication. As she has a flair for writing and an ardent lover of nature and natural products, she started writing articles for, One of the most important aspects about writing for personal care, home care and wellness, is that I can reach a larger mass of people, contribute and create awareness among people about the benefits of holistic living. Apart from writing, Akhila loves to travel, explore new places, read books, love experimenting with new recipes, enjoy spending quality time with my family and friends.


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