TOMORROW, May 1, is a national bank holiday in Spain, a ‘Red’ day when the shops will be shut and businesses, including banks, will be closed.
The day is known as the ‘Fiesta de Trabajo’, and celebrates the achievements of Spanish workers.
This celebration is a worldwide event, though a number of countries will move the day to the nearest Monday. In Spain, as with all bank holidays, it is always on the same date.
This celebration was actually banned during the Franco regime and only was allowed after 1977. Since then the day saw demonstrations to put forward the case for Workers’ rights.
International Workers’ Day, Fiesta de Trabajo, Labour Day or May Day, is a celebration of workers that is promoted by the international labour movement.
The celebration dates back to 1904 with the date having been chosen by a multinational organisation of socialist and communist parties to commemorate the Haymarket affair, which occurred in Chicago, US on May 4, 1886. This was a general strike, which was held to demand an eight-hour working day. The strike started on May 1, but three days later, police opened fire on the strikers, after a bomb was thrown. Eight strikers were killed.