In Lebanon, Labour Day is every 1 May on the holiday calendar, but many don’t actually get to take the day off. Some do, but not nearly enough for it to be considered a major Lebanese holiday.
|2020||1 May||Fri||Labour Day|
|2021||1 May||Sat||Labour Day|
Because certain services are essential, those in such industries find it nearly impossible to take the day off. Also, many who are very poor and need to work every day they can just to squeak by can’t take Labour Day off either. Finally, because Communists and Socialists in Lebanon treasure Labour Day so much, those who favour capitalism sometimes react by not wanting to celebrate what they see as an “anti-capitalist” holiday.
Historically, 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.