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What is Labor Day?

          Labor Day is an American holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. Labor Day was created as a U.S. holiday in the late 19th century to celebrate and honor the contributions of the American system of organized labor and workers to the prosperity and economic strength of the nation. Labor Day is especially celebrated in the United States with parades, barbecues, fireworks, picnics, and retail shopping. The main idea of this holiday is to honor America's workers and give them a rest.

History of Labor Day
         Today's Labor Day tradition began in Canada in 1872. Then, there were parades in support of the nine-hour work day (forty-five-hour work week) and the strike of the printers' union. Originally, Labor Day in Canada had no definite date. For example, the parades of 1872 were held in April. In 1882 the Canadian tradition was brought to America by labor leader, Peter J. McGuire, who began the Labor Day tradition in early September.

           Labor Day was founded in 1882 by a union called the Knights of Labor. The first celebration was held in New York State on September 5, 1882. It was accompanied by a grand parade with mass demonstrations and picnics. Toward 1894, 23 states introduced a Labor Day holiday, celebrating the strength and prosperity of American workers. Labor Day festivities in 23 states prompted President Grover Cleveland to declare June 28, 1894, the first Monday in September, as the national Labor Day holiday. So, why was the first Monday in September chosen to celebrate Labor Day? It's simple: a celebration was necessary, coming after Independence Day but before Thanksgiving.

          The tradition's origin stems from the plight of the immigrant workers who moved from Europe to the United States in the 1800s. Employers ruthlessly exploited the labor of newcomers, giving them many complex jobs and paying very little. Moreover, there was severe discrimination between men's and women's labor rights. Soon, workers took the path of struggle and began to unite in workers' unions. The American Federation of Labor was organized in 1886. Since then, working conditions and pay have improved dramatically.

          The first Labor Day celebration was celebrated with a parade to show the public the strength and fighting spirit of the trade and labor organizations of the city. The parade was followed by a festival of recreation and entertainment for workers and their families. This parade and festival became a model for Labor Day celebrations.

          The main significance of Labor Day is different from that of any other annual holiday. Samuel Gompers, the founder of the American Federation of Labor, usually described Labor Day as a holiday that is not connected with conflicts and battles of man's superiority over man, with struggles and disagreements over greed and power, with the glory achieved by one nation over another. He said that Labor Day is not dedicated to any one person, living or dead, to any one sect, race, or nation.

How is Labor Day celebrated in the United States?

          On this day, the president gives a solemn speech, American citizens come out in demonstrations, union representatives speak, TV and radio broadcasts about the state's economic achievements and prominent contemporaries, and congratulations to all workers.

          Americans spend this weekend in early September for swimming, picnics, and barbecues. It can be family camping time, on the beach, at national parks, or elsewhere. Previously, schools usually started their classes after this holiday. Nowadays, however, most districts have extended the school year, so children are still resting at the beginning of September. Labor Day in the United States is also the opening of the pro soccer season, and children sign up for sports sections. There are also various sports competitions and demonstrations in various national sports. At local fairs held on this day, people buy multiple souvenirs for friends and colleagues. It is also customary for this holiday to organize joke shows, cross-dressing, and surprises.

           Labor Day in the United States is traditionally known as a big shopping holiday, second only to Black Friday before the Christmas season. On this day, almost everyone leaves work to go shopping. Many stores have big sales on Labor Day weekend. It is a great time to make some of your Christmas purchases in advance. Due to this, retail workers, on the other hand, have to work overtime.

The next day begins a new work period:

  1. Companies discuss further work plans and new projects at special meetings.

  2. A new school year starts for high school and college students.

           It is typical for ordinary Americans to spend this day outdoors, having a picnic for a small company, gaining strength for the long work days that will follow.

          Although this September holiday is widespread in the United States and Canada, it is an alternative to International Labor Day, which is popular in many countries worldwide and is held on May 1. We should note that Labor Day is a less political holiday in the U.S. than International Labor Day is in the rest of the world.

Labor Day is the last holiday with mass celebrations in the warm season, and everyone wants to spend it having as much fun as possible.

          The great thing about the Labor Day holiday is just to celebrate. Celebrate the time away from work to spend it with those who really matter—friends and family.
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