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How Well Do Singaporeans Understand the May Day Holiday?

Singaporeans celebrate Labour Day on 01 May, together with many other countries across the world. May Day has a long history dating back to the middle ages and the arrival of spring. But since the 19th century it has been more associated with labour and worker rights, especially working hours.

Introduced into Singapore as a public holiday in 1960, Labour Day served as a reminder of what workers have achieved for the country.

Fast forward to today, only 3 in 10 Singaporeans (28%) associate May Day with their contributions for the country. 4 in 10 Singaporeans (39%) feel it reminds them of workers’ rights, while 35% feel it is just another public holiday. More than 1 in 10 Singaporeans (11%) claim to not know why we celebrate Labour Day.

In our same survey, we also looked at the relationship between work and self fulfilment. Only 27% of Singaporeans say their work offers them “a lot of meaning and fulfilment”. Men are more likely to say work has more meaning and fulfilment for them compared to women (32% to 21%).