Labour day in North America falls on the first Monday of September. The long weekend is a symbol of the unofficial end of summer. In Canada, Labour Day has been celebrated since the early 1870s. It origins are found in a parade that was held in support of the Toronto Typographical Union’s strike. Strikers demanded a 58-hour work week in December of 1872.
Today it is celebrated with picnics, parades, fireworks, publicly organized activities and other events. It is also the last long weekend families with children in school can travel, as school generally begins the tuesday after the Labour Day weekend.
Photo Credit: Emmanuel Huybrechts via Wikimedia, cc
You Can’t Wear White After Labor Day
This may seem odd, but North America is quite adamant on respecting this long-followed fashion guideline. Of course, you won’t be fined or arrested if you do, but you may be on the receiving end of some odd looks and whispers. It has been suggested that it was brought about for a number of historically practical reasons. Speculation about these reasons include:
- White clothing was generally made of a light material, so it was practical to wear white in the summer months, but not in the fall or winter.
- Some suggest that it was symbolic of the summer. White was often the color of choice for people on holiday. After labor day, work began again and the fall-colored clothing made its reappearance.
Fun Facts about Labour Day in Canada
- The holiday originated in Canada, although most assume it began in the U.S. It wasn’t until 1882 that the first Labor Day was celebrated in the States.
- The founder of Labour Day remains a mystery.
- Many other unionized countries around the world celebrate Labour Day (but not always on the same day as Canada).
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