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May Day

May Day is a public holiday in Ireland that celebrates workers' rights as well as a Celtic festival. It's a public holiday, held on the first Monday of May.

Upcoming Dates & Where They Are Celebrated

May Day is celebrated on the first Monday of every May, so the date changes every year. Here are the upcoming dates:

  • Monday, May 1, 2017
  • Monday, May 7, 2018
  • Monday, May 6, 2019
  • Monday, May 4, 2020
  • Monday, May 3, 2021
  • Monday, May 2, 2022
  • Monday, May 1, 2023
  • Monday, May 6, 2024
  • Monday, May 5, 2025

Where Is May Day Considered A Holiday?

May Day is considered a holiday everywhere in Ireland. Most professional services, like banks and government offices, are closed for observation. There are many shops that will close down on May Day as well, allowing employees time to celebrate. However, some businesses will remain open, to serve the need of their customers. Public transportation is available in some areas, but not others. It's important to check with your local travel schedule before planning any trip, short or otherwise. There will often be traffic delays, since there are parades on May Day.

Festivities & Events During May Day

On May Day, there are often parades and festivals. The celebration differs depending on the area. Some villages hold a communal meal. Others have fairs to celebrate. There are many places that choose to have a parade to demonstrate workers' rights. This is common in larger cities like Dublin. These larger celebrations attract people from other parts of the world. They also attract representatives of the unions'. Festivals and celebrations may be held on the Saturday closest to May Day, instead of on May Day itself. May Day may mark a long weekend for those with government jobs. For other workers', it's important to check with your employer before making plans for the long weekend.

A Brief History Of May Day

May Day is a holiday given to individuals for workers' rights. It's comparable to Labour Day in many other places in the world. May Day is celebrated alongside the Celtic festival La Bealtaine. This festival is celebrated to mark the blossoming of many flowers and trees. Since it's the start of the nice weather, it's a time for planting and gardening. Belfires are lit the evening before May Day, to celebrate the traditions. There are many spiritual meanings to this process, each to welcome the season. It's been observed as a public holiday since 1994, although it's been celebrated for years before being made an official holiday.