May 1, 2014

May Day

Usually, I sleep through most of May Day, but this year, I had to get up and go to the pharmacy for mum-in-law, so I was up and running just after lunchtime. At 14:30, I ran into the traditional May Day march, which I haven´t seen for years (being a mostly nocturnal creature). It´s been a lot in the news lately about some local branches of the Social-Democratic party cancelling their marches due to lack of interest, election year as it is, and it was nice to see so many people out, after all. I had a mind to join, but had to get to the pharmacy before closing time (which was early because of the holiday).

When I got out, they had come back and there were speeches and singing of the Internationale, and even dancing; perhaps mostly to keep warm, as it was pretty cold - even some snowflakes in the air.

What many probably don´t know, is that May Day is a commemoration of the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, when workers had gathered to demonstrate in favour of the 8-hour working day. We have come a long way since, but there is still so much wrong with the world.


  1. " there is still so much wrong with the world." truer words... may day is generally ignored here.

    1. Yes, but you have Labor Day, which is kind of the same thing, isn´t it?

    2. in its origins, i suppose so. in practice, it's a huge retail sale day when workers in shops tend to have to work longer hours; and retail workers aren't usually members of labor unions. it's more noted for the traditional fashion rule that women shouldn't wear white after labor day and for the beginning of football season. most people i know don't know its history. it's considered a particularly appropriate day to display a flag.

    3. Sadly, labour unions are loosing ground here too, and we see a lot more exploitation of the young and the vulnerable. It´s not hard to see why: membership has become expensive, wages are lower, and people are caught by the consumption bug and indebted up to their earlobes. The economic culture has changed so much over the last hundred years.