Labour Day is a holiday in Portugal every 1 May to celebrate the rights and contributions of workers in the country, and to bring attention to the ongoing fight for better employment conditions for all.
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During the repressive dictatorship of Antonio Salazar, from the 1930’s till 1974, Labour Day was no longer celebrated. But from 1975 on, after the famous “Carnation Revolution”, it again became a public holiday in Portugal.
For many, Labour Day is basically a day off work to hang out at home or go shopping. But, for some, it is a time to protest and demand better working conditions or higher wages. Many also go on picnics or go hiking or biking to enjoy the coming of spring.
However, along highway N125 in the Algarve region of Portugal, a unique tradition has taken hold. Every 1 May, people build stuffed, make-shift mannequins of people and animals and put them on display outside. Many driving down N125 stop or slow way down to observe and take snapshots of this Labour Day artwork!