BBC News

In pictures: Workers unite for May Day

Published
image copyrightEPA
image captionIn Bangladesh, a worker wore his literal chains at a rally demanding minimum wage increases and improved worker safety

May Day, an ancient spring festival in many nations, is also international workers' day, or "labour day".

On 1 May every year, workers of the world unite and rally in support of trade unionisation and better working conditions.

Originally chosen by socialist, labour and communist organisations, the commemorative date has spread across the globe.

image copyrightEPA
image captionThe Iraqi Communist party took to the streets of Baghdad with the hammer and sickle symbol
image copyrightEPA
image captionIn Cannes, France's far-right leader Marine Le Pen lays a wreath before a statue of Joan of Arc - a tradition of her party every 1 May
image copyrightEPA
image captionA right-wing AfD rally in Berlin, meanwhile, was met with a counter-demonstration (seen here) and a hefty police presence
image copyrightReuters
image captionAside from the labour rallies, a distinct British tradition: Leicester Morrismen throw their hats in the air at Bradgate Park
image copyrightEPA
image captionMany placards, like this one in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, called for increased women's rights
image copyrightReuters
image captionIn Russia, a "sailor" performs as the crowd gathers in Moscow...
image copyrightReuters
image caption...followed by a march of left-wing parties and political movements
image copyrightEPA
image captionIndian trade union members shouted slogans at their own rally to mark the day
image copyrightAFP / Getty
image captionIn Hong Kong, Indonesian migrant workers at a May Day rally called for breaks between shifts that are guaranteed in other countries

Photographs are subject to copyright.

More on this story

  • Thousands in Oxford for May morning celebrations