Today is Labor Day in the United States. Labor Day is an important holiday where many businesses close, letting people stay with their families to enjoy the holiday. We enjoy doing many things for Labor Day, such as going to the beach, having barbecues with family, or even camping. Many people go to public swimming pools because in many regions, today is the last day that the pools are open. Summer does not end here until the third week in September, but the traditional end of summer is today. The traditional beginning of summer is Memorial Day, which is the last Monday in May.
A little about the holiday itself. Labor Day is always observed on the first Monday of September. Many Brazilians ask me why we don’t observe this holiday on May 1st, like many other countries. I found this on Wikipedia-
The Knights of Labor organized the original parade on Tuesday, September 5, 1882 in New York City. In 1884 another parade was held, and the Knights passed resolutions to make this an annual event. Other labor organizations (and there were many), but notably the affiliates of the International Workingmen’s Association, many of whom were socialists or anarchists, favored a May 1 holiday. In 1886 came the general strike which eventually won the eight-hour workday in the United States. These events are today commemorated as Labor Day in virtually every country in the world, with the notable exceptions being the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. With the Chicago Haymarket riots in early May of 1886, President Grover Cleveland believed that commemorating Labor Day on May 1 could become an opportunity to commemorate the riots. Thus, fearing that it might strengthen the socialist movement, he quickly moved in 1887 to support the position of the Knights of Labor and their date for Labor Day.
Here is a paragraph about traditions, also from the Wikipedia article about our Labor Day-
Today Labor Day is often regarded simply as a day of rest and, compared to the May 1 Labor Day celebrations in most countries, parades, speeches or political demonstrations are more low-key, although especially in election years, events held by labor organizations often feature political themes and appearances by candidates for office. Forms of celebration include picnics, barbecues, fireworks displays, water sports, and public art events. Families with school-age children take it as the last chance to travel before the end of summer. Some teenagers and young adults view it as the last weekend for parties before returning to school. However, of late, schools have begun well before Labor Day, as early as the 24th of July in many urban districts, including Nashville and Atlanta. In addition, Labor Day marks the beginning of the season for the National Football League and NCAA College Football. The NCAA usually plays their first games the weekend of Labor day, with the NFL playing their first game the Thursday following Labor Day.
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