On May 1st in Serbia, we celebrate International Workers’ Day. This holiday has a long and important history worldwide. It is a day to honor the achievements of workers around the world and to recommit to the fight for justice and equality for all. In some countries, this day is also known as May Day or Labor Day.
May 1st in Serbia and world – history
The May Day holiday has been celebrated in the world since the late 1800s when workers’ rights advocates organized rallies and marches to call for better working conditions. It was first celebrated by socialists in the 1880s in USA as a way to commemorate the Haymarket Affair. The rally which started in support of an 8-hour long workday ended tragically, with the loss of life of four protesters.
In 1889, the International Workingmen’s Association, also known as the First International, called for international rallies on May 1 to be held every year in support of workers’ rights. The Second International, an organization of socialist and labor parties formed in 1889, also endorsed the holiday. May 1st in Serbia, and more specifically Yugoslavia, used to be a day when attention was drawn to workers’ rights and the efforts of unions received appreciation.
In recent years, the holiday has taken on a new meaning as some activists call for labor reform, but some people are just celebrating the first days of warm weather and incoming summer.
Where to celebrate May 1st in Serbia
If you happen to be on May 1st in Serbia, consider yourself lucky! There are many places to celebrate this important holiday, and you can do it just like the locals. This year, May 1st is on Sunday, so many stores and businesses are not working on Labor Day. Still, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the holiday. Serbian people usually have a picnic or barbecue on this day. Sometimes, they go as early as 2 am or 3 am to take a spot at their favorite park. So, here are some ideas on how to celebrate May 1st in Serbia.
Have a picnic in Belgrade parks
Belgrade is a beautiful city with plenty of parks perfect for a picnic. So grab some food, some friends, and head to one of Belgrade’s parks for a picnic!
With choices including Kalemegdan Park, Košutnjak, Ada Ciganlija, and Park Ušće, you don’t even have to get out of the city. Kalemegdan Park is the largest park in Belgrade and has something for everyone but there are no designated picnic spaces. On the other hand, Ada Ciganlija and Košutnjak are perfect for picnics with plenty of space and BBQ areas.
However, as tens of thousands of people will gather at those places over the weekend, we recommend getting in the car and visiting some more spacious green areas. You will find several interesting locations in the vicinity of Belgrade. For example, Stepin Gaj is just 12 km away from the center. If you want to “spice up” your picnic or hiking with a bit of history, then Kosmaj Mountain is a place to be. For a more active weekend, you can visit nature park Ponjavica and admire the diversity of flora and fauna.
Take a trip to an off-the-beaten-path destination
May 1st in Serbia is an excellent opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful off-the-beaten-path destinations. If you love trains, you will enjoy a ride on Sargan Eight. For a scenic view, head to Drina river house. To see some unique natural phenomena, visit Resava cave or Prerasts of Vratna.
Did you know that Belgrade was not always the capital? That’s right, Kruševac used to be our capital as well. So, if you want to use a chance to see some other Serbian cities, this is the best time for it as well. If you appreciate the taste of good wine, you will feel at home in Negotin. Or you can just stroll along the most beautiful street in the world, in Kikinda, or sip a coffee in Central Perk Serbia in the city of Zrenjanin.
Picnic tips and tricks
As we already suggested, picnics are a great way to enjoy the outdoors and spend time with friends, especially if you celebrate May 1st in Serbia. Plus, they’re relatively easy to prepare for. Just be sure to pack some food, drinks, and games or activities to keep everyone entertained. Here are a few tips to help you plan the perfect picnic:
Choose a scenic spot. A picnic is all about enjoying the outdoors, so pick a spot with a beautiful view. However, you will not be the only one looking for a place to barbecue this weekend, so you can even rent your own villa with a backyard and enjoy the privacy with your loved ones.
Make a menu. Once you know who will be joining you on your picnic, it’s time to start planning the menu. If everyone is bringing their own food, that’s great. But if you’re in charge of the food, try to make something simple that can be easily packed and doesn’t require any cooking. Sandwiches, salads, and fruit are all good options. Again, as everyone will be buying supplies and groceries for May 1st in Serbia, be prepared for a bit longer lines at the checkouts.
Pack essentials. Don’t forget to pack all the essentials for your picnic, including blankets or towels to sit on, plates and utensils, napkins, and garbage bags. If you’re planning to do any activities like frisbee or hiking, be sure to pack those items as well.
Respect nature. Please clean up your picnic garbage. Adhere to the rules of the park, as some of them do not allow open fire or barbecue.
Have fun. The most important part of any picnic is to have fun! So relax, enjoy the company of those you’re with, and take in the beautiful surroundings.