May Day May Day! What holiday is it? "I draw boldly with red chalk: peace, labor and May ..." Once every year, on warm May Day, these lines sounded from all the horns of our vast country, and millions of people went to the May Day demonstration, happy, inspired, believing in their own strength, freedom and invincibility.
history of the holiday
If you think that May Day originates in the Soviet Union, you are mistaken. In fact, historically, this is an American holiday. In 1886, on May 1, a workers' strike took place in the American city of Chicago: people exhausted by the 15-hour working day demanded easing of working conditions, legal holidays and social guarantees.
The strike did not bring the desired results: the US authorities brutally dispersed the rally, many were injured and even dead. However, since that day, the date of May 1 has firmly established itself in the American calendar: every year, workers across the country began to take to the streets, demanding a fair attitude to their work. In 1889, the Paris Congress recognized this day as a holiday and gave it its first official name: the Day of Solidarity of Workers.
In 1890, inspired by the example of the Chicago workers, the May Day demonstration was launched in Warsaw. In the same year, the first small actions took place in Tsarist Russia. The scale of the performances acquired by 1897: then thousands of people took to the streets across the country. Red flags fluttered, revolutionary slogans sounded. In 1917, on the eve of the famous October Revolution, millions of people participated in demonstrations throughout Russia. It was this year that the celebration of May 1 acquired such a grand character as we know from the photographs and videos of the Soviet chronicles.
After the overthrow of the royal power and the arrival of the Communists, the holiday changed its vector a little. Now the working people living in the big, free and beautiful country of the future did not need to defend their rights: they fought for the equality of other, oppressed peoples, for world peace, proclaimed freedom and called for building world communism.
The last communist May Day demonstration took place in 1991. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the holiday was renamed the Day of Spring and Labor. Today, it is celebrated a little less on a large scale, but it is still the most free and free-thinking in the festive grid of the Russian people. A variety of parties and organizations go to rallies with their demands, colorful demonstrations, concerts, actions take place all over the country, and all bright fireworks end.
As noted on May 1 in other countries
The famous May Day is celebrated not only in the United States, Russia and Poland. Nearly 150 countries around the planet also take to the streets on May 1 to proclaim their free views, shout loud slogans and just have a good rest and have fun. It is called differently in different countries: in Kazakhstan it is the Day of Unity of Nations, in Spain it is the Day of Flowers, and in Italy the happiest day of the year is a wonderful name, isn't it? - but their essence is about the same: it is a holiday dedicated to spring, freedom and equality.
May Day is celebrated differently in different countries. In Germany, there are numerous motley fairs, and there is still a touching tradition: a man in love can plant a sapling under the windows of his girlfriend. In Sweden, on the night of May 1, the garbage accumulated during the winter is burned. In Greece, this day symbolizes the change of seasons (according to the very myth of Demeter and Persephone), and young girls make wreaths of wild flowers. In France and Italy, whole flower fairs are organized on this day, and all people give each other flowers, and in Holland, on May 1, a tulip festival, and thousands of tourists come every year from all over the world to this country to see a delightful spectacle.
How to congratulate friends and colleagues that give
May 1 is a holiday historically associated with the rights and freedoms of citizens, so the best thing you can do on this day is to have a good rest. Congratulate your family and friends by inviting you to a picnic in nature or barbecues in the country. If you can not go out of town - go to the demonstration together, buy flags and colorful balls, as well as something tasty in numerous fairground tents.
Give on May 1, it is accepted something useful. The head or director can be presented with a diary, organizer or original calendar. If mutual understanding and warm relations reign, one can joke a little: give a toy medal to the “Best Leader” or a sign on the office door “Please do not disturb - the authorities have gone to their senses.” Similar comic souvenirs are full in gift shops.
Colleagues - presents on professional topics: a teacher - a set of red pens, a doctor - a beautiful case for a portable first-aid kit, a lawyer or a businessman - a representative expensive pen. Pay attention to the colleagues' hobbies: an avid gardener will be delighted with gardening equipment, seeds and seedlings, and the needlewoman will enjoy a new yarn or a set of embroiderers. The main thing - be generous and original!
May Day - the same day when a husband and wife can without shame of conscience give each other kitchen utensils, appliances and work equipment. You can make and a symbolic gift: for example, give a broom with green shoots woven into it.
You can give a set for your summer holiday to friends: for example, a brazier with skewers, a picnic basket, a water-repellent rug or a sunbed with an umbrella. Also entertaining, humorous little things will do: a kite, a bunch of white, blue and red balloons (the flag of Russia), board games.
Interesting facts related to the holiday
For many years of international history, May Day has gained a huge amount of fascinating facts. I will list some of them.
- The celebration of the beginning of spring dates back to the times of paganism: for example, the symbol of the ancient Celtic holiday Belteyn was a May tree, around it they danced with ribbons, and this marked the awakening of nature;
- The month of May itself is also named after the pagan goddess Maya, who was responsible for fertility; in order to appease her, people brought generous gifts and loudly celebrated the onset of the last spring month;
- During the times of the Soviet Union, quite a few unusual names appeared with "communist" transcripts: Vladlen - Vladimir Lenin, Staliv - Stalin Iosif Vissarionovich, and there was the name Dazdraperm - "long live the first of May."
If there are no ambitious plans, and you are not going to a demonstration or picnic, you can pay tribute to the traditions and ideals of the Soviet times and watch the video chronicles of the first demonstrations, listen to songs that once sounded on this wonderful spring day, or get acquainted with films of the Soviet era.
Yes, May Day is an important day and a holiday for every inhabitant of the planet. May 1 is not just a day off, it is a date with a rich history and amazing traditions. May 1 is a symbol of freedom, equality and fraternity. And every self-respecting person and citizen should certainly know a little more about this holiday.