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Old Soviet Postcards: What May Day Looked Like in Years Gone By

May 1 was a symbol of class struggle in Russia for about 100 years (1890-1990). Workers held annual protests on this day from 1890 to 1917, demanding better working conditions and higher wages. In 1918, May 1 became an important public holiday — the Day of the International Solidarity of Workers — in the Soviet Union. Most cities held parades and obligatory workers’ marches on this day until 1990. The Russian Parliament renamed the holiday as Spring and Labor Day in 1992.

While the most common symbols of Spring and Labor Day are flowers, blooming branches

and balloons, Soviet artists decorated postcards with numerous other subjects reflective of the USSR’s bygone era.