Palau celebrates Labour Day on the first Monday in September just like the United States. That makes sense since Palau, though independent, has a treaty of “free association” with the US. In most of the rest of the world, however, 1 May is Labour Day.
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The main centres of Labour Day events in Palau are in its two largest cities: Koror and Ngerulmud. The more than 500 islands in the chain have an abundance of beautiful beaches that many flock to on Labour Day weekend. Some also go hiking in the mountains of the island of Babeldaob or other scenic areas.
The origin of the holiday is the 4 May 1886 Haymarket Massacre during a labour protest in Chicago, USA. As the world industrialised in the mid to late 1800’s, the dismal working conditions in many factories led to a protest movement.
The Haymarket Massacre became a key moment in the movement, leading to the establishment of Labour Day, then called “International Workers Day”, to demand things like an 8-hour work day, safer working conditions, and increased pay.
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