May Day 2021

Commemorate the granting of the eight-hour working day for Australians and recognize workers' contributions towards the nation's economy this May Day.

Labour Day Parade 2016
Labour Day Parade 2016

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Butchers Float Brisbane 1920
Butchers Float Brisbane 1920

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Labour Day 1914
Labour Day 1914

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Labour Day Parade 2016
Labour Day Parade 2016

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Labour Day - Monday May 3rd, 2021

Tree of Knowledge Festival Celebrations - Friday April 30th - Monday May 3rd, 2021

Labour Day has been an official Queensland public holiday, celebrated on the first Monday in May, since 1912 and before that as Eight Hours Day since 1901. Before its official recognition as a public holiday, parades and celebrations had taken place in Queensland since the 1860s. The first celebration took place in Brisbane on 16 March 1861 and was essentially a celebration by a small number of skilled building workers who had recently achieved an eight-hour working day. The date of the event was chosen to coincide with the anniversary of the first workers achieving the eight hour day in Queensland.

 

Celebrations of Eight Hour Day continued to take place in March in Brisbane and on various other dates in different cities and towns. New impetus was given to the celebration when striking shearers staged a large procession in Barcaldine on 1 May 1891 and from 1893 the Eight Hour Day was moved to the first Monday in May in Brisbane and around the state.

 

Eight Hour Day and Labour Day have traditionally been marked with processions representing different trades, unions and businesses with banners and floats and also with sports days, picnics and excursions.

 

Labour Day processions have featured many elaborate floats over the years powered by horse, steam or internal combustion engines.