Many are wondering, why celebrate Labor Day? To some, it is just another holiday that takes place every year. To many others, it is a national holiday in commemoration of workers from different countries all over the world. It is celebrated on the first of May every year. This day also marks the coming of spring in many countries, and they celebrate this day based on ancient customs. Other Labor Day facts include China and Europe as two countries that celebrate Labor Day as May Day.
May Day facts include that it is originally a celebration for the coming of spring, symbolizing the rebirth of nature. Traditions involved in this day involve flower picking, and fertility dances commonly done in communist and socialist countries. In the 1990s, China celebrated Labor Day for 3 consecutive days, and the government then turned it in to a 7-day holiday until 2008. During this time, booking a flight to and from China is almost impossible. All hotels and lodges are also fully booked with tourists and locals.
Other Labor Day trivia include the Roman festival of flowers being associated to Labor Day. During the Roman times, people used to gather branches and flowers, and chose a May Queen to crown the flowers with. They will perform dances around a bush, a tree, or a decorated pole, hence the birth of the May Pole. Other festivities symbolized the rebirth of nature (spring), and the fertility of human life. In Beijing, the capital of China, the celebration of Labor Day begins with a flag raising ceremony in Tian’anmen Square, marking the opening of the celebration. An estimated 20,000 people are present during this part of the celebration. The townspeople fill the streets with their flower booths, and millions of people, including tourists buy different flowers as souvenirs. Other public events include art exhibits, product booths, and fireworks display in the evening, marking the end of the celebration. Other preparations involve the decorating of the streets with flowers and streamers, welcoming guests, and various symbolic ornaments in hotels, restaurants, and other establishments that mean prosperity and abundance for guests and all citizens.
Of course, what is Labor Day without the participation of the laborers themselves, right? In China, groups of employees are dressed up in their work uniforms and perform songs and dances for the spectators. Some friendly competitions are also held that bring out the spirit of unity and friendship in all of China. At the end of the day, workers are more rejuvenated and refreshed, ready to welcome a new season in their field of expertise.
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