May Day was an important official holiday of the Soviet Union, celebrated with elaborate popular parade in the centre of the major cities. It was first openly celebrated on May 1, 1917. The biggest celebration was traditionally organized on the Red Square, where the General Secretary of the CPSU and other party and government leaders were greeting the crowds from the Lenin's Mausoleum.
Soviet type May Day parades were obligatory, leaders greeting the crowds. In Poland since 1982 party leaders led the official parades, anti-Communist counter-parades were also organized.
In the People's Republic of China, May 1 marked the start of one of the country's three "Golden Weeks". Three days off work were given, and one of the surrounding weekends was re-arranged so that workers in Chinese workplaces would have seven continuous days of holiday, starting on the first of May and ending on the seventh. This holiday, known as "Wu Yi" ( literally "5.1") also included Youth Day on May 4, and was the peak period for Chinese citizens to travel around China and abroad. Starting 2008, May 1 "long holiday" has been shortened to 1 day. However, it is allowed that surrounding weekends to be re-arranged, for no more than 3 days.