What is Labor Day and why is it celebrated?

What is Labor Day and why is it celebrated?

Millions of people from the United States celebrate Labor Day as a federal holiday every first Monday of September. People usually tend to celebrate this day as the last day of the summer holidays and the start of the academic year. But, beyond the time of barbecues and pool gathering opportunities, Labor Day has a historical significance. So, let's get to know the importance of Labor Day and why we celebrate it.

What is Labor Day?

What is Labor Day?

Labor Day in the United States is a way of giving tribute and celebrating workers' contributions, as well as the history of labor in the United States. The holiday was originally proposed in 1882 by Peter J. McGuire, a labor union leader who wanted to create a celebration for working men and women, including parades and other events. The first Labor Day parade took place on September 5, 1882, in New York City.

Since then, Labor Day has grown to include more than just parades. It also has become a day of rest and relaxation for many working in offices or industries. In addition to the day off from work, there are Labor Day deals and offers on items such as clothing, furniture, appliances, and other goods. This makes it an ideal time to shop and save money on items you may need.

Why Do We Celebrate Labor Day?

Labour Day is observed to honor the contributions and accomplishments of American workers. Back in the late 1800s, during the prime of the American Industrial Revolution, an average American worked 12-hour days, seven days a week, simply to make ends meet. Despite official laws, children aged 5 or 6 worked in big mills, factories, and large mines across the country, making just a fraction of the salaries of adult workers.

Labor unions, such as the Knights of Labor and the American Federation of Labor (AFL), started growing in such an environment. These organizations fought for higher pay, an eight-hour workday, and other worker rights. In 1894, Congress established a law declaring the first Monday of September as "Labor Day"—a day off for American workers.

The Significance of Labor Day

The Significance of Labor Day

Beyond the relaxation and sales, Labor Day is an important reminder of the need to recognize and protect workers' rights. Many of us hold jobs. We do not need a holiday to remind us of the importance of work and the challenges and rewards that come with it.

But also, through each day of the year, we don't frequently get the chance to reflect on why we do our jobs the way we do them, where our current worker's rights came from, and the price that many individuals paid to gain those rights for us today.

It is a way for people to honor all those who dedicate their lives to their work and all those who have sacrificed so much to make sure that everyone has equal rights in the workplace. And that's well worth remembering.

Reason for Labor Day Holiday falling on Mondays

The Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968 revised many holidays to ensure they were always celebrated on Mondays, allowing federal employees to have more three-day weekends. The act, which became law on June 28, 1968, also shifted Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, and Columbus Day to fixed Monday each year.

The annual celebration of Labor Day pays tribute to the source of this country's strength: American workers, unions, and labor leaders. Whatever way you choose for observing Labor Day 2023, take some time to remember and honor all the past and present laborers who worked to build America and shape it into the country it is today.

Related Post