1 Mai

May Day occurs on May 1 and refers to several public holidays. In many countries, May Day is synonymous with International Workers' Day, or Labour Day, a day of street demonstrations and street marches by millions of working people and their labour unions throughout most of the countries of the world. May Day is also a traditional holiday in many cultures.

The idea for a "workers holiday" began in Australia in 1856. International Workers' Day is the commemoration of the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago in 1886, when Chicago police fired on workers during a general strike for the eight hour day, killing several demonstrators and resulting in the deaths of several police officers, largely from friendly fire. In 1889, the first congress of the Second International, meeting in Paris for the centennial of the French Revolution and the "Exposition Universelle", following a proposal by Raymond Lavigne, called for international demonstrations on the 1890 anniversary of the Chicago protests. These were so successful that May Day was formally recognized as an annual event at the International's second congress in 1891.

"Doina" Army's Ensemble - Traditional May Day march

In Romania, this day was first celebrated by the socialist movement in 1890. During the communist regime, on May 1st the authorities organized huge rallies and marches on main streets, columns of workers in festive costumes being forced to wear huge placards and to chant slogans. After the fall of Communism in 1990, the propaganda importance of the day was minimized, but people enjoy to celebrate the event outdoors, at the sea, in the mountains, or simply at a picnic or a barbecue.