Jordan recognises 1 May as the public holiday of Labour Day. However, in practical terms, it is only a day off for government workers. The private sector roll on just like the holiday didn’t even exist. Some private businesses might let workers off or shut down for the day, but it’s rare.
|2020||1 May||Fri||Labour Day|
|2021||1 May||Sat||Labour Day|
This means, of course, that tourists don’t have to worry about things being closed down for Labour Day. Petra, public buses, restaurants, and shopping centres will be up and running as usual.
You do have labour problems in Jordan, but there aren’t a lot of labour protests on Labour Day. Instead, the main event is listening to the king give a speech on TV or radio.
The origin of the holiday is the 4 May 1886 Haymarket Massacre during a labour protest in Chicago, USA. As the world industrialised in the mid to late 1800’s, the dismal working conditions in many factories led to a protest movement.
The Haymarket Massacre became a key moment in the movement, leading to the establishment of Labour Day, then called “International Workers Day”, to demand things like an 8-hour work day, safer working conditions, and increased pay.