Originally the 1 May celebration developed from the ancient pagan Spring Day festivities. But it was declared the International Workers’ Solidarity Day in 1918 when Communist forces rebelled and took over the country.
During the Soviet Union, Labor Day was of high importance as part of the Communism symbolism and was marked with military parades and demonstrations.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the holiday was renamed as Spring and Labour Day. Today it is mainly celebrated to welcome spring.
Since 2013, Russians enjoy a five-day break off work - from May 1st through May 5th. Many spend this time at home with friends and family, relaxing, travelling or going to dacha - traditional privately owned summer houses in the countryside where most Russians spend their time off and enjoy agriculture and barbecues. On Spring and Labour Day women receive flowers, typically tulips, and children - colourful balloons and ice cream.
May holidays are a wonderful time to visit Russia - tree branches begin to blossom, the air is full of spring and festive atmosphere can be enjoyed.
- On May 1st enjoy numerous parades in all the major cities, especially in Moscow. However, try to avoid labour demonstrations if any take place
- Check out which festivals and celebrations are planned in the cities - the programme is always full with exciting events