the day of non-working

It’s a holiday! No work! Today is May 1, aka May Day, aka International Workers’ Day, aka Labor/Labour Day. I had heard of May 1 being a holiday, but having grown up in the States, it was always one of those random holidays that barely made it onto the calendar. It was that weird spring holiday where you might leave candy and flowers at your neighbors’ doors (but most don’t).

Well, no candy and flowers here in China. It is a national holiday though, so the work schedule gets all switcherooed to make it a three-day weekend (off Thursday, off Friday, off Saturday, work Sunday). I hear the holiday referred to as Labor Day (and I’ve seen both the American and British spellings), but I just can’t bring myself to call it that. Because Labor Day is the first Monday of September. It’s a goodbye to summer, the last hurrah before school starts, whereas May Day is decidedly a spring deal. So I’ll play the part and say “International Workers’ Day” … but in my mind I’m thinking flowers.

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Image is of a pile of rubble near a construction site in Zhujiajiao, Qingpu District, Shanghai. Construction in China – it’s not progress, it’s a way of life.