The first May Day celebration in India was organised in Madras by the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan on May 1, 1923. This was also the first time the red flag was used in India. The party leader Singaravelu Chettiar made arrangements to celebrate May Day in two places in 1923. One meeting was held at the beach opposite to the Madras High Court; the other meeting was held at the Triplicane beach.
The Hindu newspaper, published from Madras reported,
"The Labour Kisan party has introduced May Day celebrations in Chennai. Comrade Singaravelar presided over the meeting. A resolution was passed stating that the government should declare May Day as a holiday. The president of the party explained the non-violent principles of the party. There was a request for financial aid. It was emphasized that workers of the world must unite to achieve independence."
May Day is a nationwide bank holiday in India. The holiday is tied to labour movements for communist and socialist political parties. In Maharashtra and Gujarat, respectively, it is officially called Maharashtra Day and Gujarat Day, since it was on this day in 1960 that each attained statehood, after the division of the old Bombay State on linguistic lines.