May 1th International Labor Day
Date: May 1st
May 1st International Labor Day is the common festival of all the proletariate and working people of the world. It originated from a great strike in Chicago of the U.S.
On May 1st, 1886, 216,000 workers in Chicago went to a great strike for the 8-hour working system. They finally won a victory after a hard bloody fight. To commemorate this great workers' strike, the Conference for Socialist Representatives was held in Paris, France, on July 14th, 1889. At the meeting French representatives proposed that May 1st of 1886, on which American workers strived for 8-hour working system, should be set as a common festival for international proletariats. This proposal was totally agreed by all the representatives and a historically significant resolution concerning it was passed. It was on that day that May 1st International Labor Day was born. The resolution of the conference was actively responded very soon by the workers all over the world. From then on, the working people of all countries usually had some congregations and paraded on the same day of every year to celebrate the festival.
It dates back to the year of 1918 that Chinese people started to celebrate the Labor Day. In this year, some progressive intellectuals distributed some handbills to introduce May 1st Labor Day in Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Hankou and some other places. On May 1st, 1920, some workers in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Jiujiang, Tangshan and other industrial cities gave a large-scale congregation and parade, which was the first celebration for May 1st labor Day in Chinese history.
After the foundation of the PRC, the central government, namely the State Council, set May 1st as a statutory festival in December 1949, and regulated that the whole country takes a holiday on that day. People usually wore beautiful clothes for the festival, happily gathered at parks, theatres, and squares to take part in various celebrations and entertainment activities. And those working people who had made outstanding contributions would be awarded on that day. On September 18th, 1999, the State Council made a new regulation to change the one-day holiday into a three-day holiday for the May 1st festival. From 2000, the total holiday extended into 7 days (the statutory 3-day holiday plus the two weekends before and after the May 1st Labor Day).