Healthplan Spain


SPANISH HOLIDAYS: When Is Labour Day In Spain? Expat Tips

Labour Day, also known as International Workers' Day, is celebrated on May 1st in many countries around the world. It is a day that commemorates the contributions and achievements of the Labour movement and workers. In Spain, Labour Day or ‘Día del Trabajador’ is an important public holiday that is celebrated with various events and activities.

In 2023, Labour Day holiday in Spain will be on Monday, May 1st. The region of Madrid also has a holiday on May 2nd meaning that many people will enjoy an extra long weekend between April 29th and May 2nd.

What is the history of Labour Day?

The history of Labour Day in Spain dates back to the early 20th century when the country was going through a period of significant social and political change. During this time, the Spanish labour movement was gaining momentum, with workers demanding better working conditions and wages. The first May Day demonstration in Spain took place in 1890 in Barcelona, and since then, the day has been commemorated annually.

In the United States, the history of Labour Day dates back to the late 19th century, during a time of great industrial growth and social upheaval. In the late 1800s, workers in the United States were facing long working hours, low wages, and dangerous working conditions. Many of them began to organise and form Labour unions to demand better treatment from their employers.

One of the key events that led to the establishment of Labour Day in the United States was the Haymarket affair of 1886. On May 1st of that year, workers in Chicago went on strike to demand an eight-hour workday. On May 4th, a bomb was thrown at police during a rally, and several people were killed. The incident sparked a wave of anti-Labour sentiment, and several Labour activists were arrested and eventually executed.

In 1889, the International Socialist Congress declared May 1st as International Workers' Day to commemorate the Haymarket affair and to promote the rights of workers around the world. However, the United States government did not recognize this holiday, and instead, established a different day to celebrate workers.

In 1894, following a series of Labour strikes and protests, President Grover Cleveland signed into law a bill that made Labour Day a federal holiday. The holiday was designated to be held on the first Monday in September, rather than May 1st, in order to distance it from the socialist and anarchist associations of International Workers' Day.

Since then, Labour Day has been celebrated in the United States on the first Monday in September as a tribute to the contributions of workers and the Labour movement. It is typically marked by parades, barbecues, and other festive activities, and is often seen as the unofficial end of summer and the start of the fall season.

In Spain, Labour Day is a public holiday, which means that many businesses, government offices, and schools are closed. Workers are encouraged to take the day off and participate in various activities that celebrate their contributions to society. In many cities, Labour Day is marked by parades, demonstrations, and rallies, where workers gather to show their solidarity and support for the labour movement.

One of the most popular events on Labour Day in Spain is the CCOO (Comisiones Obreras) and UGT (Unión General de Trabajadores) march in Madrid, which attracts thousands of people every year. The march begins at the Plaza de Neptuno and ends at the Puerta del Sol, where speeches and other activities are held.

Another popular way of celebrating Labour Day in Spain is by attending concerts and festivals. Many cities host music festivals and other cultural events to mark the day. For example, in Barcelona, there is a festival called "La Festa del Treball" (The Festival of Work), which features music, dance, and other performances.

In addition to these public events, many workers celebrate Labour Day by spending time with their families and friends. They may have picnics or barbecues, go on outings, or simply relax at home.

In conclusion, Labour Day is an important public holiday in both Spain and the United States that celebrates the contributions and achievements of the Labour movement and workers. While the holiday has different historical origins in each country, it is marked by various events and activities that bring workers together to celebrate their hard work and contributions to society.

Learn more about the public holidays in Spain for 2023.