We all know that May 1st is another holiday, but how many of us do really know the reason. For many people it’s a tricky question. Their answer varies from this day being a dry day, or Shivaji Maharaja’s birthday or simply beginning of a summer vacation. But the real reason lies in the formation of our State Maharashtra. This day is also referred to as ‘International Workers Day or Labour Day’.
An act was passed in the year 1956 called the States Recognition Act, which defined boundaries for Indian States on basis of the language spoken. This led to the formation of the ‘Bombay State’ where languages such as Marathi, Konkani, Gujrati and Kutchi were spoken. The ‘Sanyuktha Maharashtra Samiti’ further divided the Bombay State into two states – Gujarat composed of Gujarati and Kutchi speaking crowd and Maharashtra composed of Marathi and Konkani speaking crowd. The formation of the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat thus took place according to the Bombay Recognition Act 1960 enacted by the Parliament of India on 25th April, 1960. The act came into effect on 1st May 1960, hence the reason for Annual Celebration.
The Government of Maharashtra declares a holiday on this day every year which applies to all the offices and companies under the jurisdiction of the state, schools and colleges.
Every year a parade is held at Shivaji Park where the Governor of Maharashtra makes a speech. The parade is attended by a large number of crowd. Liquor sales to Indians are banned on this day across Maharashtra excluding foreigners.
The Golden Jubilee Celebrations for Maharashtra Day were conducted on 1st May 2011 across the State.
Apart from the annual parades, locals also celebrate this day with much zeal and passion. You can find many people across the state participating in musical rallies wearing a saffron turban and white kurtas. While women are decked up in their traditional best attire and jewellery. People riding bullets waving a saffron flag has become synonymous with Maharashtra Day along with the beats of Nashik Dhol.