May Day is a traditional European holiday with ancient roots that marks the start of the summer but also marks Labor Day or International worker’s day. It is typically observed on 1st of May. May Day is one of the most important days to be noted as it commemorates the two paramount events. May Day traces its history all the way back in the Celtic era, which lasted from about 1000 B.C. throughout the Iron Age to the Roman Empire. The present-day nations of France, Spain and Britain were once home to the Celts. Celts had strong ties to nature so they deeply admired natural treasures like rivers, lakes etc. Beltane, the festival of Celts that indicated the end of fall and winter and the commencement of spring and summer is what we now refer to as May Day. May Day is easy to utter, so people started to use May Day instead of Beltane festival.

The American labor market suffered a huge instability throughout the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s. There were very few protections for workers. A great number of men, women and even children were forced to work for long tiring hours which eventually led to numerous deaths. On May1st of 1886, more than 300,000 workers rendered a strike in protest against commotion working conditions and demand of an eight-hour work day. As a result of this labor action, Labor Day is also celebrated enthusiastically on May 1st along with the Beltane festival. It is the day that tributes the challenges and victories experienced by laborers and labor movement. It is the 134th Labor Day this year. Singing, bonfires, floral decorations are most common ways to celebrate May Day. Around 66 countries celebrate May Day. No celebration of May Day is complete without Maypole. Maypole is a large pole covered by colorful ribbons. Communities dance around the poles while weaving the ribbons, and contends to see who has the tallest maypole as it stands for male fertility. Gifting basket is another enthralling tradition of this event. Let’s hope that this month of May is gorgeous as sun in mid-summer for everyone.

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

Shriya Khadgi

Grade 10


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