MAY, 01 – LABOR DAY or simply MAY DAY
Important day in Russian calendar especially during Soviet times when people used to participate in peaceful demonstrations to show their solidarity with workers all over the world and celebrate achievements in manufacturing, sports, education and labor in general.
The main slogan was “Мир, Труд, Май» which means “Peace, Labor, May”. It was the day of public gatherings, concerts and sports events. Before May celebrations, normally at the end of April they used to organize another major activity “subbotnik” (“subbota” means “Saturday” in Russian) – citizens were refining public places by collecting garbage and planting trees. You see, Russia was eco-friendly even back in the 50s.
After all demonstrations and public celebrations people go to their countryside houses (“dachas”) to make barbeques and gather with friends. In fact, “dacha” is a cultural heritage of Russia. Back in Soviet times government used to give small pieces of land free of charge to all citizens, so they could plant vegetables and fruit for themselves. That’s why our grandmothers all have green fingers and are the best chefs in jam making.