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2009-04-29  Celebrating May 1
May 1st - Labor Day The 1st of May is traditionally the Labor Day in Russia and Ukraine. Labor Day emerged as a public holiday during the Soviet Union times. It is still celebrated, but after the collapse of the communist regime lost much of its ideological meaning. This holiday has become more a celebration of triumph of spring and nature. In the Soviet era, this holiday was widely and actively celebrated throughout the whole country. It began traditionally with parades. The nation's most important one took place in Moscow's Red Square. Demonstrations were held in every city of the Soviet Union, even in the smallest towns. Everyone wanted to take part in the big celebration. The participants were holding Soviet flags, placards with patriotic slogans, and portraits of Communist leaders. Streets were decorated with red flags and balloons. Overtime, people have lost interest in May 1st parades. Only some political parties, as Communist Party, go out to the streets. Today this holiday is mostly just a good opportunity to go outside, celebrate the beginning of spring, to visit relatives and friends, or even take a short vacation, because the next holiday, Victory Day, is celebrated on May 9th, and sometimes it is possible to combine the two holidays into one vacation. The best thing about this holiday nowadays is that it provides a great opportunity to enjoy a picnic in the open air.