Today, in many countries all over the world, May Day is celebrated as International Workers’ Day. Of course, in The United States and Canada, Labor Day is celebrated in September – but the rest of the world celebrates this similar holiday on May 1st. In fact, more than 80 countries officially honor International Workers’ Day, and many more do so unofficially.
A Google Doodle shown only in specific countries honors the holiday today. The Doodle shows a working woman lifting a steel version of the Google logo high above her head. Around the world, International Workers’ Day celebrates the working class – as well as labor movements and unions.
The association of the holiday with labor unions in some countries has led to right-wing government interference in the past. For instance, the holiday was not officially celebrated in Spain until 1977, when the Communist Party of Spain was legalized. The May Day celebration was banned under the Franco regime. Similarly, the May 1st Labor celebration was discarded during the Fascist Regime in Italy, pre-World War II. It is now a very important holiday in the country.
Some of the countries that have been graced with this Doodle include Brazil, Germany, Russia, and Italy.
Check out an International Workers’ Day celebration, all the way from Kuala Lumpur:
May 1st is Loyalty Day in the U.S. Per the book definition, it is a “special day for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom.” Attempts have been made to change the U.S. celebration of Labor Day to May 1st, but they have clearly been unsuccessful.