May Day in Havana

International Workers' Day in Cuba - May 1

May Day (1st of May) is massively celebrated in Cuba with workers marching with their colleagues to the Revolution Square, where special cultural and musical events are held as well as speeches from leading figures. The largest gathering in Cuba is in Havana, where hundreds of thousands of workers parade along the streets until they reach the Plaza de la Revolucion at the foot of the giant statue of Cuba's godfather of the Revolution - Jose Marti.

Cubans parade past the Jose Marti memorial during in the May day event in Havana

You can participate in this event with your tour leader if your group is in Havana on May 1st.

May Day in Cuba is a spectacular scene with masses of people dressed in red, waving flags and displaying banners in support of the Cuban Revolution. Traditionally Fidel would address the people with one of his typically lengthy speeches, encouraging and congratulating the workers on their achievements. Now it is assumed that Raul or another leading figure will make the speech, albeit a somewhat shorter one.

The crowd holding up images of political figures during the May Day Parade in Havana

May Day is celebrated around the world and originally refers to an internationally-celebrated holiday in commemoration of the Haymarket Riot of 1886 in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Today it is more connected with a celebration of the more general social and economic achievements of the international working class and labor movement. May Day became established as the traditional socialist holiday during the 20th century; in these circles, the holiday is often known as International Workers' Day or Labour Day.

More photos of the May Day parade in Havana

Most of these photos were taken of the 2011 May Day parade in Havana. Cuban Adventures runs tours of Cuba that include participation in this May Day parade each year.

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