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Today, May Day is celebrated in several European nations and the United States, in cultural expressions ranging from Maypole dancing to foot races, May Baskets, singing, and festivals. Alternatively, in many countries, May Day is synonymous with International Workers' Day, or Labour Day, which celebrates the social and economic achievements of the labor movement. Thus, May Day has acquired a second meaning, quite different from the original one which stemmed from spiritual roots and connections to nature; the later one coming from secular efforts to improve human society through struggle and conflict.
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are sometimes referred to as the "Abrahamic religions" because of the role Abraham plays in their holy books and beliefs. The Hebrew Bible describes Abraham as the first patriarch of the Israelites. He is the one to whom God gave the blessing of descendants "like the sands of the sea" and the promise of a nation that would keep the ways and commandments of God. Abraham's journeys through the land of Canaan mark out the territory that would later become the land of Israel. In the Qur'an Abraham is a prophet blessed by God, and it is he who established the Ka'bah in Mecca as a holy sanctuary. His son Ishmael is said to be the father of the Arabs. Both Judaism and Islam credit Abraham with being the first monotheist, who, living amidst a polytheistic culture, had the revolutionary insight that there is but one God, the Creator of the universe. In Christian belief, Abraham is a model of faith, and his intention to obey God by offering up Isaac is seen as a foreshadowing of God's offering of his son, Jesus of Nazareth.