Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, International Labor Day here in China always falls on May 1st and depending on when May 1st is, we workers will usually get a few extra days off to help make it a real holiday. This year May 1st fell on a Thursday, so we also got Friday off but then had to go back to work on Sunday. This year we only got two days as China has cut the length of the May Day holiday from a week to three days as part of its National Holiday restructuring in hope to avoid insane overcrowding. Prior to this year as I've said above we used to get a full week but also like this year we had to work an entire weekend for that to happen. Travelling was always crazy as everyone in China got the same bloody holiday. That of course meant hundreds of millions of people were all travelling at the same time! Seriously, try and comprehend what it is like to travel at a time like that! This year there was no time to pack the pack and bugger off into the wild blue yonder. Shaowu was the place to be and I was ever so happy to be there as Luo Wei was with me. Yes the Super Northern Train Girl boarded the train a week before and spent another twenty something hours in a hard seat rocketing her way from north to south. I really do wish she would allow me to buy her a plane ticket each time. Most times though I have no idea she is coming to visit until she is here. So now she is called the Sneaky Bugger Super Northern Train Girl! This year we decided to join Yan and Crew at a Fish Farm for a day of picking wild berries and filling our bellies on a huge delicious feast of freshly caught fish and other delicious dishes. Set beside the Ming River the Fish Farm is located about a five minute motor bike ride from the city and is surrounded by hills covered by a tea tree plantation. It really was such an awesome day! And a day spent with a group of such wonderfully happy people! For dinner we all headed to Yans Sister-In-Laws seafood restaurant were we once again happily ate another huge feast after which we made our way to the cities 'Peoples Square' to continue the celebrations amongst the thousands that had gathered there. For hours the skies above us were filled with beautiful slow rising sky lanterns named 'Kong Ming Deng' What is Kong Ming Deng? The Chinese named their invention "Kong Ming Deng" after leader of the three kingdom period of China 184AD - 280AD. Surrounded by enemies he watched the wind direction and used these floating balloons to send out signals for help. It is also said the shape of a sky lantern is like the hat Kong Ming wore. Sky lanterns were then made of oiled rice paper with a bamboo frame at the bottom containing a small candle. [/i] THANK GAWD FOR THE EIGHT HOUR WORKING DAY! HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WORKERS DAY TO YOU ALL! AND OF COURSE TO THOSE IN OUR PAST THAT FOUGHT FOR THEIR BELIEFS AND MADE IT HAPPEN! For those who are interested in the history of May Day (International Workers Day) continue reading below. For those who are not interested but want to check out the photos simply scroll down.[/i] </b> Beers N Noodles toya.....shane ____________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was the mighty Motorhead. The album was 'Welcome To The Beartrap!' _____________________________________________________
<u>From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia</u></b> Labour Day is an annual holiday celebrated all over the world that resulted from efforts of the labour union movement to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers. The majority of countries celebrate Labour Day on May 1, and it is popularly known as May Day and International Workers' Day. May Day can refer to various labour celebrations conducted on May 1 that commemorate the fight for the eight hour day. May Day in this regard is called International Workers' Day, or Labour Day. The choice of May 1st was a commemoration by the Second International for the people involved in the 1886 Haymarket affair. The Haymarket incident occurred during the course of a three-day general strike in Chicago, Illinois that involved common laborers, artisans, merchants, and immigrants. Following an incident in which police opened fire and killed four strikers at the McCormick Harvesting Machine Co. plant, a rally was called for the following day at Haymarket Square. The event remained peaceful, yet towards the end of the rally, as police moved in to disperse the event, an unknown assailant threw a bomb into the crowd of police. The bomb and resulting police riot left at least a dozen people dead, including seven policemen. A sensational show trial ensued in which eight defendants were openly tried for their political beliefs, and not necessarily for any involvement in the bombing. The trial lead to the eventual public hanging of four anarchists. The Haymarket incident was a source of outrage from people around the globe. In the following years, memory of the "Haymarket martyrs" was remembered with various May Day job actions and demonstrations. As such, May Day has become an international celebration of the social and economic achievements of the labour movement. Although May Day received its inspiration from the United States, the U.S. Congress designated May 1 as Loyalty Day in 1958 due to the day's appropriation by the Soviet Union. Alternatively Labor Day traditionally occurs sometime in September in the United States. Some view this as an effort to isolate American workers from the worldwide community. People often use May Day as a day for political protest, such as the million people who demonstrated against far-right candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen in France, or as a day for protest against government actions, such as pro-immigrant rallies across the United State <u>Traditional May Day Celebrations</u>[/i]</b> May Day also marks the end of the uncomfortable winter half of the year in the Northern hemisphere, and it has traditionally been an occasion for popular and often raucous celebrations, regardless of the locally prevalent political or religious establishment. As Europe became Christianized the pagan holidays lost their religious character, they either morphed into popular secular celebrations, as with May Day, or were replaced by new Christian holidays as with Christmas, Easter, and All Saint's Day. In the start of the twenty-first century, many Neopagans began reconstructing the old traditions and celebrating May Day as a pagan religious festival again. <u>International Workers Day in China</u>[/i]</b> BEIJING, May 3 (Xinhua) - Chinese had their fervor for holiday sightseeing cooled by a shortened vacation as tourist volume slumped nearly a quarter in the past three-day May Day holiday. A total of 8.94 million people visited 119 monitored tourist spots around the country from May 1 to May 3, 24.45 percent down from the same period last year, the national office in charge of holiday affairs said on Saturday. As a result of cutting the May Day holiday from a week to three days, long-distance tours fell sharply despite an increase in short and mid-distance traveling to large cities and neighboring scenic spots, according to the office, which didn't give detailed numbers. It said small tourist groups such as families and friends rose by a big margin while self-driving became a dominant fashion. Hundreds of millions of Chinese used to travel at the same time during the May Day holiday and the other two "golden weeks" for the Spring Festival and the National Day, cramming transport and tourist destinations, and making holiday experiences far from enjoyable. "A shortened May Day holiday has been effective to solve the problem, but the implementation of paid holiday policies should be guaranteed to meet Chinese' growing demand for tourism," said General Manager Chen Xiaobin of the Beijing-based Caissa Travel. The country witnessed a record high of 179 million domestic tourists during last year's week-long May Day holiday, up 22.7 percent year on year, with retail sales rising 15.5 percent to 320billion Yuan (about 45.7 billion U.S. dollars). China began to entitle its employees to paid holidays of five to 15 days off a year in addition to national holidays and weekends in December, when it scraped the May Day "golden week" and added Tomb-Sweeping Day, Dragon-boat Festival and Mid Autumn Festival to the list of public holidays. The "golden week" holidays were launched in 1999 to encourage Chinese to spend more money for the benefit of economic growth.