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Raheen Woods Hotel


May Day | Labour Day

- Posted on: 01/05/2022 - $itemValue.title

May Day is a holiday in many countries in Europe and in America and is commemorating the historic struggles and gains made by workers and the labour movement observed in many countries. 

May Day is celebrated on May 1st or the first Monday of May in Europe, and the first Monday of September in the United States and Canada. The first massive labour movement was observed in Chicago, on May 4th 1886, a violent confrontation between police and labour protesters called the Haymarket Affair where workers were fighting and striking for an eight-hour workday. Today we celebrate Labour Day on May 1st as a commemorating day of the Haymarket Affair and the international struggle for workers’ rights.

May Day was also a Pagan symbol of Spring and was celebrated with music and dances. Maypole dancing was a tradition on May Day celebrated in Ireland and in England. Maypole was originally a living tree, it is now a tree trunk where people dance around the pole and wrap the Maypole with ribbons and foliage. Today the village of Holywood in County Down can claim to having the only surviving Maypole in Ireland. On the first Monday in May each year the pole is still decorated with ribbons, a May Queen is crowned and groups of local school girls dance around the Maypole.

It is a tradition in France to offer a bunch of lilies of the valley on the first of May to the beloved ones. Lily of the valley is a emblem of spring and return of summer weather and a symbol of a good luck charm. 

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