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Spring and Labour Day or Pervomai

Category: Russia

Spring and Labour Day  is celebrated in Russia on 1st of May. Many remember the holiday as Labor Day.

This holiday has ancient pagan roots. For thousand years before Christ, the people of ancient Rome worshiped the goddess Maia – the patroness of earth and fertility. In honor of the goddess the last month of spring was named May. On the first day of May they celebrated sowing for it to be productive.

In Russia, Pervomai has been celebrated since the time of Peter I as the sowing and spring holiday and had no political character. People held the holiday festivities, concerts, performances and fistfights were the most popular amusements.

Political history of Pervomai began in the late XIX century, after the protests, when the Paris Congress of the II International in July 1889 offered to celebrate the Day of Solidarity of the world proletariat annually on May 1st. Since that day the workers of different countries started to organize demonstrations, during which they tried to defend their rights.

May Day demonstrations in Russia started in 1897. That day in the country for many years has been associated with thousands of protesters, brass bands, red banners, portraits of political leaders and balloons. Soviet citizens waited for the holiday, thoroughly prepare for it, and in the whole families or large companies went to the streets.

In 1992, the International Workers’ Day was renamed into Spring and Labour Day.

This year in St. Petersburg the main event will be held at Gostiny Dvor starting from 15:00 to 18:00. Citizens and guests of the city will plunge into the festive, spring atmosphere and, paying tribute to the history of the holiday and national traditions, will take part in interactive entertainments, contests, as well as participate in a dance flash mob.

It is time to enjoy the sun, spring and weekends! 

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