Since the end of the 19th century, May Day has been one of the most important recurring festivals and events of the labor movement. Its history is closely linked to the rise of socialism in Europe and has had a very strong hold, not least in Sweden.
But what is the first of May really about?
The growth of the labor movement
Despite the fact that the USA is now mainly associated with the free market, it is actually from there that the first of May originates. Although the idea of organizing works has a much longer history, most believe that its model is a decision made in 1884 in the United States. The American Labor Movement Federation of Labor (AFL) decided to demand a broad limitation of the working day to eight hours.
The Second International was an organization formed in Paris to mark a kind of symbolic extension of the French Revolution, while striking a blow for the rights of future workers. Their formation in 1889 is also usually seen as a kind of beginning of the first corn position as an official holiday.
The labor movement has since been a decentralized social movement with a focus on improving workers' rights. The concept is broad and encompasses both organized trade unions and the ambitions and expressions of individuals. The labor movement has been active in many countries throughout history, but it has been most successful in Western industrialized countries. The labor movement is often associated with socialist and communist political parties and organizations, but it is not necessarily tied to any particular ideology.
The first May train
A special symbol for the first of May is the first May train that takes place every year in several countries. Not least in Sweden, it has had a very strong position. The song Internationalen is in many places the train's more or less official theme song. Although the train is common, they continue to have a controversial position in many parts of the world where the labor movement is not yet accepted.