Labour Day is celebrated on 1 May in Angola, as in much of the rest of the world. Labour Day is a much anticipated holiday in Angola, and people across the country turn out for a variety of special events that focus on the achievements of the nation’s workforce and the progress toward fair and safe working conditions.
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The origin of the holiday is the 4 May 1886 Haymarket Massacre during a labour protest in Chicago, USA. As the world industrialised in the mid to late 1800’s, the dismal working conditions in many factories led to a protest movement.
The Haymarket Massacre became a key moment in the movement, leading to the establishment of Labour Day, then called “International Workers Day”, to demand things like an 8-hour work day, safer working conditions, and increased pay.
In the capital city of Luanda, all the labour unions join together to put on a dazzlingly colourful parade. Hundreds of participants march down Ho Chi Minh Avenue across town all the way to Independence Plaza during the celebration. They hold high their banners and posters and hand out literature supporting their various causes.