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Labor Day whats it all about ?

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Labor Day whats it all about ?

Monday the 5th of September 2016 is Labor Day. It is the culmination of both the Labor Day Weekend and the end of summer holidays. Most schools return on the Tuesday after Labor Day. This weekend is a celebratory weekend. It is a celebration of the workers that make America the country it is.

How did Labor Day come to be celebrated? 

Dating back to the early 19th century, trade unions were gaining members, strength and being listened to by industry. To acknowledge the great American Labor Movement, the trade unions wanted the workers to celebrate their own progress, their labor, the difference they were making. Labor Day is the acknowledgement of the American Labor Movement, or simply put - the laborers. The workers are the people that built the country, workers continue to work allowing countries to grow and strengthen.

The first celebration of Labor Day was in New York City. The Central Labor Union organized the parade and festival for Tuesday September 5th, 1882. Happy_labor_day-2016.jpg

Parade

Individual trade unions and often groups of trade unions across the country would organize the celebrations. Parades, speeches, picnics and festivals were a few of the ways the trade union members celebrated with their families and friends. The first recorded Labor Day Parade took place in New York City. It was a part of the festival organized to celebrate Labor Day.  Follow Lee Valley Ireland on Instagram

End of Summer

Labor Day signals the end of summer for most people. The summer equinox is actually later in the month, the 21st - 24th of September. Schools resume the week before or the day after Labor Day. Many families take the long weekend as their last summer holiday before the routine of school kicks back in.

Many sports begin their Autumn/Winter season on Labor Day Weekend. The Southern 500 NASCAR auto race takes place every year over the Labor Day Weekend. The NFL has their first game the Thursday after the holiday. The US Tennis Open is hosted in Flushing New York during that time.

Labor Day Sales are known across the globe! Retailers take the opportunity to cash in on back-to-school shopping over the long weekend. The public holiday gives shoppers an extra day to avail of the sales, while the retailers get the extra day’s shopping to boost their sales.

How is Labor Day celebrated in the 21st century?

It is celebrated in the exact same way as it was two hundred years ago – take the day off work. What you do during the day off is your own choice. As it is a public holiday, there are many music festivals, weekend breaks, beach towns to go to. The traditional choice is the picnic and barbeque. There is absolutely nothing wrong with celebrating in this way. Invite some friends over, light the barbeque, sit back and relax with your friends and family. Fireworks are a great addition to the weekend.

The key to Labor Day celebrations, whether for the entire weekend or for the day, is to take the day to relax and enjoy yourself.

Suggestions:

Mini vacation: book a hotel or cottage near the beach, mountains or in the countryside. Take the kids and the dog, have fun.

Beach: get up early and drive a fully loaded car to the beach. Walk the beach, collect shells, get your feet wet or lay in the sun.

Go camping: pack up your tent and sleeping bag. Follow a local trail or drive to a forest park. Light a campfire, pitch your tent, cook your dinner and make s’mores – yum!

Host a party: be as formal or informal as you like. Pool party, picnic in the backyard, wine and dips, tapas or have pizza delivered

Picnic in the park: every town and city has a park. Pack a picnic and grab a rug, a book and some sunscreen. Lay the picnic rug and relax.

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  • caitriona@leevalley.ie (caitriona hurley)
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