In Croatia, as in most of the rest of the world, 1 May is a public holiday known as Labour Day. Also known as May Day, Labour Day in Croatia celebrates both the arrival of spring and the advancement of the working class.
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The date of Labour Day is based on the massacre of protesting workers in Chicago, USA during the Haymarket Affair in early May 1886. The massacre became a rallying point for workers around the world. The international labour movement used the date of the event combined with traditional “May Day” spring celebrations in Europe to coordinate protests for workers’ rights.
One tradition still followed by some in Croatia is to hand out red carnations on Labour Day. Another Labour Day tradition in Croatia is to get a free lunch at a local park, or other location, provided by the government, a trade union, or some other source. It’s traditional to eat bean soup because that’s thought to be a “true hard-worker’s dish”.
Parades and protests will also take place, and many just spend much of the day at home, enjoying time with their family and friends, instead of “work as usual”.
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