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Labor Day

Labor Day 2020 and 2021

Ukraine celebrates International Workers Day, or Labor Day, on 1 May as it has since Soviet days. Over the years, the day has lost its original significance as a “political” or labour union rally holiday for most. And many don’t really care about its past association with the USSR so long as they get a day off work.

YearDateDayHoliday
20201 MayFriLabor Day
20211 MaySatLabor Day

Ukraine is one of 142 countries where Labor Day is celebrated officially or unofficially in large numbers. In Ukraine, it is a time for cultural exhibits, springtime related activities, special concerts and fairs, and a few peaceful parades or demonstrations.

The origin of this worldwide holiday is the 4 May 1886 Haymarket Massacre during a labour protest in Chicago, USA. As the world industrialised in the mid to late 1800’s, the dismal working conditions in many factories led to a protest movement.

The Haymarket Massacre became a key moment in the movement, leading to the establishment of Labor Day, then called “International Workers Day”, to demand things like an 8-hour work day, safer working conditions, and increased pay.

Later, governments of communist-controlled countries used the holiday as a propaganda opportunity rather than to give workers an opportunity to speak up for their rights.

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