Zagreb Getting Ready for International Workers’ Day Celebrations

By 30 April 2019

It all started in Chicago, where workers in 1886 demanded better working conditions, launched “a revolution" and succeeded. The news of their strikes quickly spread around the world and workers everywhere began the struggle for their rights. In memory of bloody protests in Chicago, 1 May is marked as the International Workers’ Day. Croatia joined the movement in 1890, and the first gathering was organised at the Maksimir Park in Zagreb. Workers described their demands with the three 8s: eight hours of work, eight hours of rest and eight hours of cultured education, reports Večernji List on April 30, 2019.

After the Second World War, the holiday’s importance increased. It became the favourite holiday after the New Year. It was celebrated over two days. In time, the struggle for workers' rights retreated to the background and 1 May is nowadays mainly seen as a work-free day spent with family and friends and with barbecues, traditional bean dishes and fun.

As usual, the largest celebration will take place in Maksimir, where mayor Milan Bandić and associates will distribute about 60,000 servings of beans with sausages. The programme starts at 9.30 am when the Zagreb Tram Orchestra will welcome the citizens. Various orchestras will continue to entertain the revellers from noon to 3 pm, while the programme at the main stage will last until 7.30 pm.

Bean dishes can be tasted at the Bundek lake as well, where the Chill & Grill festival is taking place. Tomorrow’s theme is Africa. Famous chef David Skoko will grill lamb and chicken in exotic fruit marinades, along with an African version of beans. In the evening, Soulfingers will perform.

Smoke will be raising at the Jarun lake as well, which traditionally welcomes fans of grilling and barbecues. The struggle over the tables, benches and barbecues starts early in the morning. Some even opt to spend the night there in order to reserve their place in time, since the barbecue positions are distributed on the first come first served principle.

Surrounding towns are also preparing their own events. For example, Zaprešić will organise the traditional "Grill on Labour Day" event with live music performances, while sports fans can come to Šiljakovina near Velika Gorica where a football tournament will be held, together with competition in darts, table tennis and beach volleyball.

To avoid being late, you should check the tram and bus timetables, since ZET trams and buses will run according to Sunday schedule. The markets will be closed, but most shopping centres will work as on a regular workday. If you need to go to a post office, there will two branches opened, the one in Branimirova Street, open from 7 am to midnight, and the one at Avenue Mall, open from 9 am to 9 pm.

It seems that the weather will cooperate, with temperatures reaching 20 degrees, which is ideal for outdoor gatherings. However, there is a possibility of rain, so bring an umbrella or a raincoat with you, just in case.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Jelena Pišonić Babić).

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