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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Russia Series at RussianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Russian holidays and observances. I’m Jenny, and you're listening to Season 1 Lesson 7 - Spring and Labor Day. In Russian, “Spring and Labor Day” is called Праздник весны и труда (Praznik vesny i truda)
“Spring and Labor Day” is a very interesting holiday, particularly because it has changed its nature, name, and even celebratory traditions several times throughout the course of its history. Regardless of its changing nature, It's still loved and looked forward to by all Russians. In this lesson, we will discuss this holiday.
Now, before we go into more detail, we’ve got a question for you-
Do you know the new name that appeared in relation to Spring and Labor day in Soviet times?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep listening!
Spring and Labor Day is observed every year on May 1 as a national holiday and a day off work. Spring and Labor Day starts the sequence of the so-called May festivities popularly known as “May holidays season”, or in Russian, Майские праздники (Mayskie prazniki). Many people eagerly anticipate Spring and Labor Day so they can go on a short trip around the country or even fly abroad during the May holiday season.
The holiday was initially called “the Day of the International.” However, during Soviet times, it was renamed “International Workers’ Solidarity Day.” In 1992, the holiday received the name “Spring and Labor Day.” In Soviet times, cities were decorated with red banners proclaiming “Peace, Labor, May!” or “Glory to Labor!”, and parades of the best workers from the local factories and plants were held on the main squares.
People often joke that on May 1, the country’s entire population splits into two groups that are referred to as дачники (dachniki) or “country house people” and шашлычники (shashluchniki) or “barbecue people”. шашлычники (shashluchniki) meaning “barbecue people” comes from the word шашлык (shashlyk), meaning “barbecue.”
This is related to the fact that the wonderful tradition of spending the May holiday season having a barbecue with family or friends is still alive in Russia. At the same time, people who own country homes traditionally will relocate on this day to put in some early work on their land plots, which require a lot of care.
Nowadays, Spring and Labor Day is not the ideological event that it used to be in the USSR. Nevertheless, even now some labor unions and even political parties organize parades.
Do you know what new name appeared in relation to Spring and Labor Day in Soviet times? Due to the May Day holiday in the USSR, a new name appeared – Даздраперма (Dazdraperma.) This female name emerged from the slogan Да здравствует Первое мая! (Da zdravstvuyet Pervoye maya!) , which means “Long live May Day!”. However, the name was not very popular among the people.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything new?
How do people spend Labor Day in your country?
Leave a comment at RussianPod101.com, and I’ll see you in the next lesson!