May Day in Svalbard is celebrated every 1 May, as it is in much of the rest of the world. This is a holiday to celebrate the contributions of workers to the economy and society, and also a time to highlight where progress still needs to be made towards fair and safe working conditions.
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As Svalbard is a dependency of Norway, it keeps the same basic holiday schedule, including celebration of May. The main events of the day are parades, political speeches, and rallies organised by trade unions or socialist-leaning political parties. But in Svalbard, all those things are either low-key or non-existent as compared to Norway due to Svalbard’ low population levels.
May is the earliest month that the sea ice melts, allowing easy access to Svalbard’s main islands. It can take till June some years, but May is the turning point weather-wise, and May Day is celebrated as a welcome to spring.
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