May Day Parade 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 every year more than a million 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.

Cuban leaders attending the May Day Parade 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.

Cubans march during the May Day Parade in Havana while holding a large image of Che Guevara

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.

Photos of the May Day workers parade, and Cuban National holiday in Havana.

The revolution square in Havana during the May Day Parade May Day celebrations in Havana, Cuba, in front of the Jose Marti Memorial Crowds of Cubans at the May day Parade in Havana The statue of Jose Marti overlooks the May Day Parade in Havana Officials stand during the May Day Parade in Havana Political banners are displayed during the mayday parade in Havana Participants of the May Day Parade in Havana with Cuban flags Tourists joining in the May Day Parade in Havana A group of foreign tourists pose for a photo during 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.