Most of the world celebrates Labour Day on May 1st, but in Canada and the US, it’s the first Monday of September. The tradition began in 1872, when the Toronto Typographical Union went on strike for a 58-hour work week. The parade that was held in solidarity marked the dawn of Labour Day in Canada. New York followed suit in 1882.
The day is held in honour of those who fought hard for the safe working conditions and right to fair pay we take for granted today. It’s also hugely symbolic as the last long weekend of the season: summer’s swan song. The nights are getting cooler now, and the days are definitely shorter. Thanksgiving is only a month away, which means we’ll be wearing bulky sweaters and possibly even gloves before we know it.
Today is especially poignant for those kids who are enjoying their last gasp of summer freedom — for many, tomorrow is the first day of school. Whenever I think about that, I get little shivers of excitement up and down my spine. I feel exactly like the dad in this commercial (a perennial favourite of mine):
Happy Labour/Labor Day!