We just finished celebrating April 25th in Italy and there is already another holiday. May 1st is technically Labor Day, but most Italians call it la Festa del Primo Maggio, and it is a nationwide public holiday. Many Italians commemorate the labor union movement’s social and economic achievements on Labor Day. Workers' rights and conditions are still being raised via protests and demonstrations in Italy on Labor Day.
What do Italians do?
Many people in Italy spend Labor Day, also known as La Festa dei Lavoratori or Festa del Lavoro, by:
Attending concerts in cities such as Rome.
Catching up with friends and family
Going to the countryside, public parks, to the beach or private backyard to to pic nic and barbecues.(In Rome a typical dish is fava beans with pecorino cheese, to eat on a blanket in a park!)
Public demonstrations or protest to improve workers’ rights and conditions.
Il 1 maggio is a nationwide public holiday in Italy, and many offices are closed such as:
Schools and other educational institutions.
A little bit of history...
The first Labor Day celebration in Italy was in the late 1800s to recognize workers’ achievements in fighting for their rights. Farmers and other workers traditionally took the day off to eat, socialize and dance on May 1. It was cancelled for about 20 years in the early 20th century but was reintroduced in 1945. Labor Day is celebrated in many other countries globally.