The International Workers’ Day, widely known as May Day, commemorating the 1886 uprising of Chicago workers to establish their rights was observed in the country almost peacefully, excepting some sporadic incidents.
The celebrations of May Day, locally called Vappu Day, began on Sunday evening through washing and crowning of the Havis Amanda statue in the capital, with several thousands of people witnessing the ceremony.
But the main celebration and May Day rallies were held on Monday all over the country.
People gathered in the parks and markets in different cities amidst a rain, cold and cloudy weather at most parts of the country.
Meanwhile, police said that the celebrations were almost peaceful across the country excepting few incidents of drunk driving, unruliness and brawls late Sunday night and early Monday.
Different professional bodies including Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK) and political parties brought out processions and held rallies in the capital and other big cities.
Outgoing Prime Minister Sanna Marin addressed the May Day rally organised by the Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue (Social Democratic Party of Finland-SDP) at Citizens' Square in Helsinki focusing the importance of upholding democracy, solidarity and equality.
She also warned that the planned spending cuts move taken by the possible Kansallinen Kokoomus (National Coalition Party-NCP) led government could weaken basic rights.
The Premier said that the austerity measures or tightening immigration policy would not solve country´s problems.
International Workers’ Day marks the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, when the Chicago police fired on workers during a general strike for their legitimate rights including an eight-hour working day. The firing resulted in the deaths of several demonstrators and police officers.
May 1 was adopted as International Workers’ Day by socialist delegates in Paris in 1889. More than 400 delegates met in Paris on the centenary of the French revolution at the Marxist International Socialist Congress, the founding meeting of the Second International.
The 1889 resolution called for a one-time demonstration, but it became an annual event in the course of time. May Day was celebrated in Russia, Brazil and Ireland first in 1891.