Wednesday,  May 23, 2018,00:40 (GMT+7) 0 0
May Day celebrations in HCMC
Akanksha Bose
Friday,  May 4, 2018,18:10 (GMT+7)

May Day celebrations in HCMC

Akanksha Bose

Neon signs decorate Times Square to honor Reunification Day taking place on April 30. PHOTO: AKANKSHA BOSE

One of the largest crowds gathered at Times Square in Ben Nghe Ward of HCMC’s District 1 for the celebration of May Day, known in Vietnam as International Labor Day. A potboiler of cultures could be seen in the extended patio set up between the two streets, with people arriving from various parts of the city along with others from numerous countries like Spain, Russia and the Philippines. This area boasts of modern architecture and glass-encased high rise buildings consisting of various office spaces and uncountable restaurants to cater to every taste bud.

The streets were decorated with bright lights and large neon signs commemorating Reunification Day, which took place a day before. In Vietnam, May Day is preceded by Vietnam’s Reunification Day, which is one of the most important events in Vietnam, celebrating the victory of Vietnam over the U.S. that led to the liberation of South Vietnam and the reunification of the country.

When asked about Vietnamese celebrations, a Russian visitor identified as Nikolai Konovalov, along with his wife and two children, said, “Vietnam provides a welcome change from the cold weather we see in Russia. The people are wonderful and while we have been exploring parts of Ho Chi Minh City for the past two days, this moment has to be our favorite, the lights and the surroundings are magical, Vietnam has welcomed us warmly.”

Gloria Lourdes Sanchis Izquierdo, from Spain, exclaimed that she had previously visited other famous locations like Danang City and Ninh Binh Province before finally arriving at the financial center of Vietnam. The celebrations were astonishingly beautiful and Vietnam had truly lived up to its name by providing her with an exotic experience and she would definitely come back to see the rest.

Finally, Dan from the U.S., with his wife from the Philippines, said that just having arrived on Sunday, some of the places they loved were the Notre Dame Cathedral and the local marketplaces featuring Vietnamese products, and May Day was a great day to be in this wonderful country.

While there were arcs of flowers and decorations all around HCMC, the Times Square was one of the busiest places on May Day and represented a blend of people from several countries and ethnicities, with families celebrating with their children, who posed with real-life superheroes and cartoon characters which was a part of the whole affair.

The first day of May, also known as International Worker’s Day or May Day, is celebrated in memory of the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, wherein Chicago workers protested on the streets against the long hour working days. The goal was to make work up to 8 hours a day which later spread to other cities such as New York and Baltimore. It is now celebrated in 80 countries, including Vietnam as a salute to the struggle of workers who lost their lives for this movement.

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