RoomSevilla Blog

Welcome to RoomSevilla official Blog

Labor day: why do we celebrate on the 1st of May?

The 1st of May is the “International day of the workers” or “Labor Day”, festive in Spain and in different countries.


To know the origins of the Labor Day we have to go back to 1886 in the U.S.A. The workers started a fight to obtain a work day of 8 hours. The philosophy was: 8 hours of work, 8 hours of sleep and 8 hours at home. Before then the only limitation which has few countries was the prohibition to work more than 18 hours without a pause without a good reason. The fine to do it was 25 dollars.

In this context, the most powerful labor union chose that from the 1st of May 1886 the work day would be of a maximum of 8 hours and threatened the management with a strike. A lot of workers obtained their aim. Who didn’t reach it, started a strike on the 1st of May. After three days of strike, on the 4th of May, it was convened a gathering in the square of Haymarket. In this moment the tension was high between the police and the workers due to the violent clashes of the previous days. In this day an explosive device exploded in the square of Haymarket and a policeman died. The authorities blamed the workers and more than 30 people were arrested due to their radicals ideas. At the beginning 8 workers were comedy to death, but finally 3 were sentenced to prison and the other 5 were sentenced to die on the gallows. To honor the fight for the work day of 8 hours and for the memory of these 5 people, known as “Martyrs of Chicago”, in 1889 the 1st of may was declared the Labor day.


No. In the U.S.A. and in Canada it is celebrated the first Monday of September. It was decided in this way to disassociate this date from the workers movement because of the scare that the socialism root in the U.S.A. Later, Canada and other countries took the same measure.