Labour Day was reinstated as a national holiday in Lithuania in 2002 by the Social Democratic Party after having been removed from the official holiday calendar shortly after independence from the USSR. It is celebrated on 1 May, as in other parts of Europe, but it doesn’t get the big fanfare it generates in many Southern Europeans countries.
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During the Soviet Era, Labour Day was mandatory and was the occasion of big military style celebrations, with political and cultural emphases as well. Social Democrats say that the Communists “stole” the holiday and they are just restoring it to its rightful place. Opposition parties feel it is too much associated with Communism to be worth celebrating.
On Labour Day, many get outside to enjoy the arrival of spring weather. They also may go on biking tours, attends concerts and sports matches, or attend a four day long “beer festival”. Relatively few get out and protest to demand work for the unemployed and that employers not be allowed to get away with violating the law by failing to pay overtime or firing without a valid reason.
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