The Labour Day in India is celebrated in order to honor the contribution of working men and women. It is observed on the first day of the month of May. The Labour Day in India is also known as the May Day. May 1 corresponds to the International Workers' Day which is celebrated around the world. It is observed as a national holiday in around 80 countries including India.
Labour Day in India or May Day was first celebrated in Chennai (then known as Madras) on May 1, 1923. The initiative was taken by the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan. The leader of the party, Comrade Singaravelar arranged two meetings to celebrate this occasion.
One meeting was held at the Triplicane Beach, and the other took place at the beach opposite Madras High Court. On the meeting, Singaravelar passed a resolution which stated that the government should announce a national holiday on the May Day or Labour Day in India. He also emphasized the need for non-violence within a political party. This was the first time a red flag was used in India.
The history of the Labour Day dates back to May 1, 1886. On this day, labour unions in the United States of America decided to go on a strike with the demand that workers should not be allowed to work more than 8 hours a day. This strike was followed by a bomb blast in Chicago's Haymarket Square on the 4th of May. This led to the death of several people and police officers. In addition, more than 100 people were injured in the blast.
Although the protests in the U.S. didn't lead to any immediate result, yet it helped establish the 8-hour work day norm in India and other countries in the world. Since then, the Labour Day is observed as the day for parades and demonstrations all around the globe.
The Labour Day is celebrated as the day for protests not only in India but around the world. This is when the working men and women participate in processions to defend their rights and safeguard their interests. Various labour organizations and trade unions come up with their processions so that the economic reforms they've proposed become effective in a short period of time. Other than processions, you'll find contests being organized for children to participate and understand the bond of togetherness. This way the children can understand the strength of unity which is the essence of the processions that are a part of the Labour Day celebrations.
In addition to processions, there are public speeches held by leaders of various political parties in order to celebrate May Day. This is the day when Maharashtra and Gujarat attained statehood in 1960 once the old Bombay State was divided on the basis of language. Hence, the May Day is celebrated as the Maharashtra Diwas and Gujarat Diwas in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat respectively.
The Labour Day is a special occasion when people worldwide celebrate the true spirit of the working class. It's the day when workers get together and showcase their strength which indicates how effectively they can struggle to bring in positive reforms for the working class of the society.