May is often associated with holidays. There are three of them: May 1st, Labor Day, May 8th, Armistice of the Second World War, and May 30th, Thursday of the Ascension Day. May Day, also known as Labor Day, is a day celebrating workers. This festival is celebrated throughout the world and is very often not working. If its date varies according to the country, in France and in Switzerland, it is confused with the international workers’ day: the 1st of May.
The International Labor Day has its origins in the United States at the end of the 19th century. The labor movement is fighting for the eight-hour day. To force the decision of the big American companies, the employees go on strike on May 1, 1886, during the Moving Day. In Chicago, this movement continues until May 3, when a bomb explodes during the protest, killing a policeman.
In France, as early as 1890, French workers began to march on May 1st. They wear a sprig of lily of the valley buttonhole, symbolizing spring. A few years later, the tradition is that one offers lily of the valley to his relatives for May 1st. If Marshal Petain renamed it “Labor Day” during the Vichy regime, May 1 is aptly named “Labor Day”. It is in 1946 that May 1st becomes unemployed and paid in France.
May 1st is often the place of inter-union demonstrations in the largest cities of France. Every year, a long procession marches through the streets of Paris. This year, the start was given from the place of 18 June 1940 in Montparnasse, towards the Place d’Italie. Between 28,000 and 80,000 people marched that day in Paris.
May 1st is also the opportunity to enjoy an additional day off to practice his passions. We hope you had a good time with family or friends.