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Why is May 1st a holiday in Portugal?

portugalIn Portugal, the 1 May celebration (“Primeiro de Maio”) was harshly repressed during the right-wing dictatorship of António de Oliveira Salazar and Marcelo Caetano.

Since the Carnation Revolution on 25 April 1974, Worker’s Day (Dia do Trabalhador) is celebrated by unions but as well by several leftist political parties with parades and demonstrations.

The first demonstration after the Carnation Revolution, only one week after the fall of the Caetano government and the Novo Estado regime, remains the biggest demonstration in the history of Portugal.

May 1st is an opportunity for workers, including non-permanent workers’ groups, to show their discontent for existing working conditions in parades all over the country but mainly in the capital, where the two main national union federations organise rallies.

May 1st also is a traditional ‘start of spring’ holiday in Portugal and a day for protecting homes from evil for the year ahead by packing sprigs of yellow broom into doors and windows to ward off the devil for the rest of the year, writes