May 1: Workers’ Day and May Trees

Culture Uncategorized

We are happy about the long weekend, but does everybody know for what reason we are having this holiday? 1 May is International Workers’ Day (also known as May Day). It is a celebration of the international labour movement and left-wing movements. Traditionally, this day has seen organized street demonstrations and marches by working people and their labour unions throughout most of the world. May 1 is a national holiday in more than 80 countries. It is also celebrated unofficially in many other countries.

Eastern Bloc countries such as the Soviet Union and most countries of central and eastern Europe that were under the rule of Communist governments (among them, Hungary, too) held official May Day celebrations in every town and city, during which party leaders greeted the crowds. Workers carried banners with political slogans and many companies decorated their company cars. The biggest celebration of May 1 usually occurred in the capital the country and usually included a military display and the presence of the first person of the country and of course, the secretary general of the Party.  

In Hungary, May Day was officially celebrated under the Communist regime, and is still a public holiday.
Traditionally, the day was marked by settling May trees (by boys for their “crushes”), or in a community sense, dancing around the May pole of the village.


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