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May Day in Moscow

May Day, or the first day in May, has long been a cause for celebration around the world.  As the weather begins to turn, people recognize that the beginning of May marks the beginning of the summer season. 

May Day in many parts of the world is celebrated as International Workers Day, a celebration of the laboring class that began in socialist countries as early as 1886.  This version of May Day was celebrated illegally in Russia until the February Revolution of 1917.  In Moscow, Russia the celebration involved thousands of people annually and was celebrated in Red Square until 1991.  In 2014 the celebration was allowed to re-convene officially and roughly 100,000 Russians paraded up to the walls of the Kremlin in celebration. 

Moscow, Idaho has a rich tradition of celebrating May Day as a cultural counterpoint to the International Workers’ Day of the other Moscow.   The celebrations in Moscow, Idaho have included processions through East City Park, parades through town, celebrations of international cultures, the election of a May Day Queen and of course dancing around the May Pole.  The celebrations began in the 1910s and have continued on an off throughout the years.  Celebrations of May Day have been common among many age groups from elementary students to University of Idaho pupils.  Below are some pictures of the May Day celebrations in Moscow, Idaho throughout the years.

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© 2020 by the Latah County Historical Society.

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