In the Russian Empire, the first of May as the day of international workers' solidarity was first celebrated in 1890 in Warsaw by holding a strike of 10 thousand workers. Since 1897, Mayevki began to have a political character and were accompanied by mass demonstrations. May Day demonstrations of workers in 1901 in St. Petersburg, Tbilisi, Gomel, Kharkov and other cities were for the first time accompanied by slogans "No autocracy!", "Long live the Republic!", clashes with troops (for example, the so-called "Obukhov Defense" of 1901). More than 400 thousand workers went to the May Day strikes and demonstrations of 1912-1914. In 1917, after the February Revolution, May Day was celebrated openly for the first time: millions of workers took to the streets with various slogans for freedom and in support of the war to the bitter end. In Petrograd, Alexander Kerensky greeted the demonstrators on the Champ de Mars. While the Bolsheviks came out with the slogans "Down with the capitalist ministers", "All power to the Soviets", "Down with the imperialist wars!"
After the October Revolution of 1917, the holiday became official. In the RSFSR, it was originally called the "Day of the International". Since 1972, it has been called "International Workers' Solidarity Day — The First of May" and celebrated on May 1 and 2. May 1 in the RSFSR (and then in the USSR) has been a non-working day since 1918.
On May 1, workers' demonstrations and military parades were held. On the second day of the holiday, as a rule, "Mayevki" took place throughout the country — mass celebrations in nature. In the era of "developed socialism" in the USSR, May Day demonstrations began to carry a different semantic load. On May Day, the workers of the USSR "express their solidarity with the revolutionary struggle of the workers of capitalist countries, with the national liberation movement, express their determination to give all their strength to the struggle for peace, for the construction of a communist society."
Organized columns of workers marched through the central streets of cities of all republics and towns of the USSR to marches and music of a political orientation, greetings of announcers and political slogans sounded from loudspeakers, and from the stands, usually installed near the main administrative buildings, the demonstrators were greeted by the leaders of the CPSU and representatives of the authorities. The broadcast was carried out on local TV and radio channels. The main demonstration of the country took place annually on Moscow's Red Square and was broadcast by central TV channels, with inserts of footage of demonstrations in other major cities of the country.