Labour Day, celebrated on May 1st in more than 80 countries as a bank holiday, has its origins in the labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest.May 1st or more commonly, May Day, bears more meanings for the Romanians. If in most countries the day is celebrated as the International Workers’ Day, Romania celebrates it also as the beginning of the holiday season. Labour Day celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers. The form for the celebration of Labour Day was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday: A street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations”, followed by a festival for the workers and their families. This became the pattern for Labour Day celebrations. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the civil significance of the holiday. The holiday is often regarded as a day of rest and parties. Forms of celebration include picnics, barbecues, fireworks displays, water sports, and public art events.In communist Romania, before 1989, many parades and events were organized on May 1st to honor the workers, but more importantly, to bring the nation’s “tribute and gratitude” to the leaders of the Communist Party. All major boulevards were filled with marching soldiers, workers wearing festive clothes and communist placards and students of all ages dancing and singing patriotic songs. But even during the Communist regime the 1st of May, followed by May 2nd (unofficially the “youth day”), was an occasion to celebrate the opening of the tourist season at the seaside, and many Romanians spent the day barbecuing, eating “mititei” and drinking beer with their friends. The “mititei”- a Romanian specialty consisting of grilled minced-meat rolls – are still the main dish for 1st of May enthusiasts, and are served everywhere in the country. Perhaps Romania’s most popular food, mititei (ori “mici”) are best served hot, with a bagel and mustard, paired with fresh beer.
80,000 tourists expected in Romanian resorts
According to the estimates of the Federation of Romanian Tourism Employers (FPTR), approximately 80,000 Romanians have opted for spending their May 1 mini-holiday in national resorts, the figure growing by 15 per cent compared to last year, and will spend approximately RON 18 M. Most tourists will choose the seaside (approximately 25,000), where the most sought-after resorts are Mamaia and Vama Veche (occupancy rates of 100 per cent). In the rest of the seaside resorts, the occupancy rates stand at 70 per cent.Approximately 20,000 tourists are also expected at the mountainside. Thus, occupancy rates in the Prahova Valley will stand at 70-80 per cent, while those in other mountainside resorts will stand at up to 70 per cent.Approximately 30,000 tourists opted for agro-tourism, the occupancy rate reaching 90 per cent in traditional areas.Another segment consists of balneary resorts, where around 10,000 tourists are expected. Estimates point to more than 1,000 tourists in the Danube Delta.Some Romanian tourists chose to spend the 1st of May abroad. According to travel operators, 4,000 Romanians will spend the mini-holiday on the Bulgarian seaside, where beaches and hotels look impeccable. “Three days of accommodation with all-inclusive, in a four-star hotel cost EUR 90 for a person. If booked through a travel agent, holidays cost 20 pc less than at the hotel reception, a travel agent said.