What Does May Day Mean to You?

England:

“May Day in England meant Monday off work – woohoo! Traditionally it was also the day of dancing the Maypole. This year it will be May 4th.”

Italy:

“Dal 1990 i sindacati confederali CGIL, CISL e UIL, in collaborazione con il comune di Roma, organizzano un grande concerto per celebrare il primo maggio, rivolto soprattutto ai giovani: si tiene in piazza San Giovanni, dal pomeriggio a notte, con la partecipazione di molti gruppi musicali e cantanti, ed è seguito da centinaia di migliaia di persone, oltre a essere trasmesso in diretta televisiva dalla RAI.”

Italian to English Translation:

“Since 1990, the labor unions, in collaboration with the Municipality of Rome, has organized a concert to celebrate May 1, aimed primarily at young people held in Piazza San Giovanni, from afternoon to night, with the participation of many bands and singers, and is followed by hundreds of thousands of people, in addition to being televised live by RAI.”

France:

“Le 1er mai est appelé la « fête du travail ». C’est drôle car les français font tout sauf travailler ce jour-là! Chaque 1er mai est l’occasion de se retrouver en famille, de partager un délicieux repas et de profiter du beau temps printanier. Quand j’étais petite, je me souviens aller acheter un brin de muguet chez le fleuriste pour ma mère.”

French to English Translation:

“May Day is also called the Holiday of Work. It is quite funny since French people do anything but that on May 1st! May Day is the opportunity to gather with family around a delicious home-cooked lunch and take time to relax and enjoy spring. I remember a very important ritual as a kid: buying or even picking some Lilies of the Valley for my mother.”

France:

“Dans les petites communes rurales françaises, la tradition voulait que tous les outils des agriculteurs qui restaient dans les champs le 30 avril au soir étaient récupérés et déposés sur la place du village. Charge à leurs propriétaires de les récupérer le 1er mai.”

French to English Translation:

“Once upon a time in small rural French communities, people would already start celebrating this holiday on April 30, and some would get a little carried away. So, after a few drinks at the local café, they would roam around and gather all the tools that were left in the fields by the farmers and put them on one big pile in the village square…  to be picked up by their owners the next day!”

Switzerland:

“In der Schweiz wird der Tag der Arbeit (1. Mai) nicht überall offiziell anerkannt und gefeiert, nur in den Kantonen BS, BL and JU. Die Leute, die das nicht interessiert, arbeiten einfach ganz normal, und die, die ein politisches Engagement haben, nehmen an Umzügen und Feiern teil.”

German to English Translation:

“In Switzerland May Day or Labor Day (May 1) is not officially recognized and celebrated everywhere, only in the cantons of BS (Basel City), BL (Basel State), and JU (Jura). Those who are not interested in the holiday usually work as if it were a normal workday; but others who may have a political interest participate in demonstrations and festivities.”