CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Labor Day, celebrated on the first Monday in September, has become synonymous with the end of summer, barbecues, and relaxation.
But beyond the parades and picnics, there are some fascinating facts about this holiday that you might not be aware of. Here are ten interesting facts about Labor Day:
Labor Day’s Origins
Labor Day, as we know it today, has its roots in the labor union movement of the 19th century. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, it was officially recognized as a federal holiday in 1894, thanks to the efforts of the labor movemement.
The Founder of Labor Day
The credit for proposing Labor Day often goes to Peter J. McGuire, a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor. However, some historians also attribute the idea to Matthew Maguire, a machinist, and secretary of the Central Labor Union.
No White After Labor Day
The tradition of not wearing white after Labor Day has its origins in the fashion etiquette of the early 20th century. According to Time, it was customary to transition from wearing white, which was considered summer-appropriate, to darker, more autumnal colors after the holiday.
The Last Day of Summer
While Labor Day often marks the end of summer in people’s minds, the astronomical end of summer falls around September 21st with the arrival of the fall equinox, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Parades have been a traditional part of Labor Day celebrations since its inception. The biggest Labor Day parade takes place in New York City, featuring thousands of participants and spectators.
The End of Hot Dog Season
Labor Day is synonymous with barbecue and cookouts. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council estimates that an average of 38 percent or $614 million of the total number of hot dogs are sold during this time.
Labor Day vs. May Day
In the United States, Labor Day was chosen to celebrate the labor movement and workers, intentionally distinct from International Workers’ Day, or May Day, which is celebrated on May 1st in many countries. May Day has historical ties to workers’ strikes and protests.
Unofficial Start of the Political Season
Labor Day often signals the unofficial beginning of the political campaign season in the United States. Political candidates and parties typically intensify their efforts, leading up to the November elections.
Labor Day in Canada
Canada also observes Labor Day on the first Monday in September, similar to the Unites States, it’s a day to honor workers and their contributions.
Labor Day Around the World
While the date and name vary, many countries worldwide have their own versions of Labor Day, celebrating workers and their contributions. These holidays often feature parades, festivals, and other events.
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