May Day

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1 May is the World-wide celebrated Day of the Spring Festival and also the Public Holiday of the Workers. While in many European countries it is celebrated with Dancing, Singing and eating cakes, it is also celebrated by the international working community as International Workers Day.

In many countries including Sri Lanka, the working community comes onto the streets to peacefully march remembering those sacrifices of the many. However, this year, as we stay in our homes with the lock-down on Corona Virus, it will have to be remembered while staying at homes.

1 May 1886 was the first celebration of the May Day held in Chicago. As 40,000 went on strike, with parades and bands and thousands of demonstrators demanding ‘Social and economic fairness and justice for all working people.’

Before May Day was recognised as the Day of the Workers, Capitalism ruled the world with no laws to protect the rights of the working people including working hours, working conditions and other woes of the workers. Workers were exposed to many dangers at work with no protection for them by the owners of the factories or businesses. Many suffered while at work and even resulted in early death. When socialism raised its head, workers believed that it would protect them against unfair treatments by their bosses.

In Sri Lanka May Day is usually celebrated by the Socialist and other political parties, and they commemorate the sacrifices that people made to attain the rights of workers which everyone enjoys today.

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