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The 1st of May - the Day of Unity of Kazakhstan People (+Announcement)

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By Zeena Urynbassarova

The international history of the 1st of May holidays extends back over 100 years. This "red letter day" is connected with the events that took place in Chicago in 1886 when the workers called a stirke and demanded an 8-hour work day instead of 15. 

May Day was celebrated illegally in Russia until the October Revolution enabled the first legal celebration in 1917.

It became an important official holiday of the Soviet Union, celebrated with elaborate popular parade in the centre of the major cities. The parades or, so called, the demonstrations of the working people "expressed the solidarity with revolutionary fight of workers of the capitalist countries, with national liberation movement and expressed determination to direct all efforts to fight for peace and for creation of a communistic society".

The organized columns of people marched along the central streets of the cities and villages to the tunes of music of political character. They passed by the tribunes where stood political leaders, veterans of war and labour and honorary citizens.  The political slogans and greetings were announced from the loudspeakers.  

The biggest celebration was traditionally organized on the Red Square, where the General Secretary of the CPSU and other party and government leaders stood atop Lenin's Mausoleum and waved to the crowds.

The last official May Day parade was held on May1 1990.

Since 1992, May Day is officially called "The Day of Spring and Labour" and remains a major holiday in present-day CIS countries.

Kazakhstan started to celebrate the 1st of May since 1996. In 1995 Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed the decree about the announcement of the 1st of May 1 as the Unity Day of the People of Kazakhstan. “The spirit of our people is the basis of the policy that we pursue since the first day of independence: it is tolerance and friendship,” – said Nazarbayev.

Some sources state that there are over 140 nationalities residing in Kazakhstan.

The 2009 poll results show that 86.7 % respondents in Kazakhstan evaluate the interethnic relations in Kazakhstan as stable and trouble- free.


According to the information provided by the Akimat of Atyrau city, this year on the 1st of May the government is organizing May Day parade.

Due to this the transport movement in the central part of the city will be restricted. The section (starting from Moldagoulova Street till Yerniyazova Street) of the central Satpaeva Street will be closed on one side. All transport coming down the central bridge will be routed to Pushkin and Zharbosynov Streets.

The traffic restriction will be in effect from 09.00 till 15.00 hrs.  

Among the organizations participating in the May Day demonstration are: Atyrau Oblast and City Government Administrations, all the government agencies and departments, the collectives of the universities, Atyrau Refinery, KazTransOil, TCO, Agip KCO, NCOC, NCPOC banks, etc.

April 25 2013, 16:45

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