Today (May 1) is May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day and as Labour Day in different parts of the world. It is an occasion that commemorates the contributions of workers and the historic labour movement.
While observed as an ancient northern hemisphere spring festival, May 1 became associated with the labour movement in the late 19th century, after trade unions and socialist groups designated it as a day in support of workers.
It was decided to do so in memory of the Haymarket affair of 1886, in Chicago in the US, in which a peaceful rally in support of workers led to a violent clash with the police, leading to the deaths of 4 civilians and 7 police officers.
In India, the first Labour day or May Day was celebrated in the year 1923. It was the Labour Kisan Party who had organised the May Day celebrations in Chennai (then Madras). One of these was organised at Triplicane Beach and the other one was arranged at the beach opposite Madras High Court.