Around the world, Labour Day is also known as International Workers’ Day and as May Day.
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It is a public holiday on 1 May, or if it occurs on a Sunday, then on 2 May.
Labour Day remembers the efforts, struggles and triumphs of the ordinary workers who fought for their right to work an eight-hour day, rather than the longer 10, 12 or more hours that many workers had been expected to work.
Labour Day relates back to a general strike in USA, in 1886. The strike was to bring awareness of the rights of workers but during a gathering at Haymarket in Chicago a bomb exploded and, in the gunfire that followed, several people were killed.
On Labour Day in Hong Kong, a march of workers and activists heads to the government offices from Victoria Park. The marchers protest about unfair wages and conditions, bringing awareness to the government and media.
In ancient times, 1 May was also a day that celebrated the coming of Spring. Until 2007, the few days around Labour Day were known as Golden Week (one of three in the calendar). Today, the profits around this holiday are less but it is still a significant public holiday for the people of Hong Kong.
In Hong Kong, everywhere is busy with mainland and international visitors. Many flock to the theme parks like Disneyland and Ocean Park. People come to Hong Kong to shop and they buy anything from favourite foods to jewellery to real estate.
Street markets are popular and many people travel the hour southeast from Central to get to Stanley and the Stanley Markets to shop for silk, clothing, souvenirs and bags. There is also a huge supply of local and popular food for visitors to try.