Labour Day in Norway is celebrated on 1 May each year and is designed to celebrate the achievements and contributions of workers. The date was chosen to commemorate the Haymarket Affair, a 19th century worker rally that ended in violence in Chicago, USA. It is an official public holiday.
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After the Haymarket Affair, several socialist organisations in European countries adopted 1 May as International Labour Day. This was the same date that socialists in the United States had originally chosen to celebrate the labour force. Many socialists believed that joining Europe and the United States in celebrating the working class would help the world merge into one labour movement and end capitalism.
For many years, Europe and America celebrated Labour Day on May Day, or 1 May. In 1882, unions in New York began to celebrate Labour Day in September as a late-summer tradition. It was not a national holiday, but it grew in popularity as it was not connected in any way to socialism. In 1894, President Grover Cleveland, who saw the September holiday as a way to reward the working class without endorsing radicalism established Labour Day as a federal holiday on the first Monday of September in the United States.
In Norway today, many people in the country participate in parades in order to draw attention to political issues that concern them as well as to pay recognition to the working class. In many large cities, Labour Day events are organised by the labour unions themselves in an effort to promote unity among the workforce. Often, Labour Day celebrations in Norway have a strong political message.
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