International Labour Day – First May
Public Holiday Date of Labour Day for Most Countries is 1st May 2012
First of May is celebrated in most countries around the world as International Labour Day. Also known as the International Workers’ Day, the holiday originated as a result of workers speaking up for their rights to fair work hours. During a protest in Chicago, US in 1886, an unidentified person attacked the police with a dynamite bomb which resulted in the police opening fire on the workers. Several policemen and workers were killed. This incident sent a wave of reaction throughout the world and in 1891 the popular socialist and labor union organization, Second International, declared it an annual event. However, it wasn’t until 1894 when the May Day riots broke out in Ohio, USA, that the true importance of labor rights was recognized resulting in the US Congress making it mandatory for working-class organizations in all countries to observe it as a holiday.
Name and Dates for Labour Day 2012 in Different Countries:
Though observed on 1 May in most countries, the dates for honoring the May Day holiday varies in some countries. Below is a guide to how it started, and when and how it is celebrated in some countries.
America: Surprisingly enough, the United States government marks Labor Day on the first Monday in September. This is probably to avoid disrespecting the lives that were lost in the 1886 riots by making it a celebration. Efforts have been made many times by unions to keep the May Day tradition alive by taking out demonstrations and parades on May 1 especially in the urban areas. 1st May is instead marked to promote Loyalty Day and Law Day which are also annual holidays.
USA Labour Day – 1 May 2012
United Kingdom: In the United Kingdom, May Day is celebrated as a public holiday on the nearest Monday to May 1st. However, it has no connection to Labor Day. Independently held protests are carried out on the day by UK’s anti-capitalist movement which involves marches and gatherings especially in London.
UK Labour Day – 1 May 2012
Germany: Labor Day was formally announced as an official holiday in Germany in 1933. Established by the NSDAP, the Nazi Party, it was intended to represent harmony among the state and the working class. Much to the dismay of independent unions, they were banned and destroyed just a day later on May 2. Nevertheless, despite the ironical twist of events, the day is still marked with great respect and enthusiasm by the workers in Germany on the original date.
Germany Labour Day – 1 May 2012
Singapore: International Workers’ Day is more commonly known as Labor Day in Singapore and is a national holiday marked on first of May. Marking the economic and social accomplishments of workers, it is celebrated with great zeal and fervor.
Singapore Labour Day 2012 – 1 May 2012
Malaysia: May 1 is a national holiday in Malaysia. Malaysia began observing the Labor Day annual holiday in 1972. Tun Dr Ismail, also known as the “the man who saved Malaysia” introduced the holiday to his country in the hope that it would assist in bringing Malaysia workers on one platform for the purpose of national development and prosperity.
Malaysia Labour Day 2012 – 1 May 2012
Australia: Also known as the Eight-Hour Day, Labor Day is celebrated on different dates in different regions in Australia. This is because the states achieved the Eight-Hour day on varied dates. Based around the philosophy of a British socialist, Robert Owen, the day gets its name from his belief that every person should get eight hours of sleep, eight hours of work and eight hours of recreation. For this reason, the numbers 888 are carved into many buildings through the country. Started in the mid-nineteenth century, the Labor Day tradition in the Land-Down-Under is still observed with massive enthusiasm by its workers. Below is a list of dates for 2012 when Labor Day is celebrated in different states in Australia:
Dates of Australia Labour Day 2012
Monday, March 5, 2012 – Western Australia
Monday, March 12, 2012 – Tasmania
Monday, March 12, 2012 – Victoria
Monday, May 7, 2012 – Northern Territory
Monday, May 7, 2012 – Queensland
Monday, October 1, 2012 – Australian Capital Territory / New South Wales
Monday, October 1, 2012 – South Australia
Despite being celebrated on different dates and under different names throughout the world, the spirit of this day remains the same – that of honoring the nation’s labor force.