Labor Day in Brazil

Dia do trabalhador no Brasil. O dia do trabalhador é um dia para relaxar.

Good morning, people! Tomorrow is a national holiday, Labor Day in Brazil, Dia do Trabalhador in Portuguese.
This holiday happens on May 1st,  not only in Brazil but in many countries worldwide. For some very Catholic countries, it can also be called São José Operário’s Day, the patron saint of workers.

Next Labor Day Holidays

Let’s see when this holiday will happen this year and following years:

2024 Wednesday May 1st
2025 Thursday May 1st
2026 Friday  May 1st
2027 Saturday  May 1st
2028 Monday May 1st
2029 Tuesday May 1st

The history of Labor Day dates back to 1886 in the city of Chicago, United States. On May 1st of this year, thousands of workers went to the streets to demand better working conditions, among them, the reduction of the workday from thirteen to eight hours a day. On the same day, they held a major general workers’ strike there. Two days after these events, a riot involving police and workers led to the death of some demonstrators.
Following this, several protests inspired by the struggle of the workers continued to take place. In 1919, France took the date of May 1st as the holiday for all laborers (ordinary workers), or Labor Day. Russia did the same in 1920, as did many other countries. And of course, Labor Day in Brazil also appeared.

History of Labor Day in Brazil

Labor Day in Brazil has been celebrated since 1895. However, it was only on September 26, 1924, that this date became the official Brazilian Worker’s Day, with the decree of Arthur da Silva Bernardes, Brazilian president at the time. In this decree, Arthur Bernardes established the date as a national holiday, to commemorate the martyrs of labor and fraternization of the working classes.
However, in the 1930s and 1940s, President Getúlio Vargas started using the date to publicize the creation of laws and labor benefits. The character of protest of this date was discarded, in favor of a biased commemoration.

Getúlio Vargas Brazilian President created the CLT.

How Brazil Celebrates Labor Day

Unlike the typical Brazilian festivals characterized by vibrant parades and music, Labor Day is relatively subdued. Most major cities host rallies and peaceful demonstrations where labor unions and workers come together to voice their demands and rights. These gatherings are not only a place for advocacy but also community bonding and reflection on the social and economic issues affecting workers.

For many Brazilians, however, Labor Day is also a welcome day off from work, providing a chance to relax or spend time with family and friends. Public concerts and cultural events are common in parks and squares, featuring local musicians and performers. The atmosphere is usually festive yet laid-back, with a focus on togetherness and leisure.

Ai virtual representation of Labor day in Brazil.


Nowadays, the holiday has lost many of its political meaning and it’s basically a day where people rest.

Labor Day Closures and Tips

It’s important to note that on Labor Day, many businesses and government offices are closed. Public transportation might run on a limited schedule, and some streets may be closed for marches or events. Planning ahead is advisable to avoid any inconvenience.

Curiosities about Labor Day in Brazil

  • On May 1st, 1940 President Getúlio Vargas introduced the minimum wage.
  • On May 1st, 1941, the Labor Court was created to resolve legal issues related specifically to labor relations and workers’ rights.

Labor Day Vocabulary in Portuguese

  • Dia do Trabalhador: Labor Day
  • Trabalhador: Worker
  • Direitos: Rights
  • Manifestação: Demonstration
  • União: Union
  • Feriado: Public holiday
  • Lazer: Leisure

Now it’s your turn!

To practice what you’ve just learned, let’s complete this exercise. To really practice your comprehension, let’s try to complete this exercise using this Dica in Portuguese. Tell us if the information below is true or false using the letter F (falso/ false) or V (verdade / true).

  1. (  ) Este feriado ainda mantém seus ideais políticos até hoje no Brasil.
  2. (  ) No Brasil o feriado se tornou oficial em 1924.
  3. (  ) O responsável por tornar o feriado oficial foi Arthur Bernardes.
  4. (  ) O salário mínimo foi instituído por Arthur Bernardes.
  5. (  ) Este feriado é comemorado dia 1º de Maio.
  6. (  ) Este feriado também é conhecido como Dia de São José Operário,
  7. (  ) Sua primeira aparição foi em 1886 na Itália.
  8. (  ) O movimento original defendia o direito dos trabalhadores.
  9. (  ) Neste dia as pessoas comemoram fazendo festas pela cidade.
  10. (  ) Este feriado só existe no Brasil.

Don’t forget to check out the answers below to see if you got everything right. When the sentence is false, you’ll find the incorrect information marked in bold.

Conclusion

Labor Day in Brazil offers a unique blend of advocacy, celebration, and relaxation. Whether you’re participating in a demonstration or just taking the day to unwind, you’ll find that it’s a day that truly reflects the spirit and resilience of the Brazilian people.

Finally, you know more about Brazil Worker’s Day!
So, tell us… What about your country? Is May 1st a holiday too?

Also… Want to study in Brazil? Contact us at Rio & Learn. We have online Portuguese courses available for you right now.

Click on the links below to see more related Dicas

Brazil Holidays
Work in Brazil
Employment Contracts in Brazil
Professions in Portuguese

Answers

  1. (F) Este feriado ainda mantém seus ideais políticos até hoje no Brasil.
    Este feriado perdeu seu significado político.
  2. (V) No Brasil o feriado se tornou oficial em 1924.
  3. (V) O responsável por tornar o feriado oficial foi Arthur Bernardes.
  4. (F) O salário mínimo foi instituído por Arthur Bernardes.
    O salário mínimo foi instituído por Getúlio Vargas.
  5. (V) Este feriado é comemorado dia 1º de Maio.
  6. (V) Este feriado também é conhecido como Dia de São José Operário,
  7. (F) Sua primeira aparição foi em 1886 na Itália.
    Sua primeira aparição foi em 1886 em Chicago, nos Estados Unidos.
  8. (V) O movimento original defendia o direito dos trabalhadores.
  9. (F) Neste dia as pessoas comemoram fazendo festas pela cidade. 
    Neste dia as pessoas fazem comícios ou manifestações pacíficas.
  10. (F) Este feriado só existe no Brasil.
    Este feriado existe em muitos outros países.

This post is also available in: English Português (Portuguese) Español (Spanish)

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