For many Americans, Labor Day marks the end of summer, when we enjoy the last long weekend in the season’s waning warmth. But it’s also the day when the nation’s laborers take a well-deserved day off.
Google’s Doodle on Monday celebrates a variety of workers, depicting a wide range of professions, from teaching and farming to cooking and construction.
Is Labor Day a Public Holiday?
Labor Day is a public holiday. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.
Labor Day Weekend
All Government offices, organizations, and many businesses are closed. Many cities, towns, and neighborhoods organize and hold public celebrations such as firework displays, picnics, and barbecues.
Many residents take advantage of the long Labor Day weekend to take a last summer trip. Because of this, there may be traffic congestion on highways and at airports. Public transit systems do not usually operate on their regular timetables.
Last Break Before School Starts
For students, Labor Day is the last chance to take a break before school starts again for the fall session.
The American football season begins on or around Labor Day, and many teams play their first game of the season during the Labor Day weekend.
A Day for Workers
The first Labor Day was held in 1882, and its origins stem from the Central Labor Union’s desire to create a holiday for workers. It became a federal holiday in 1894.
Originally, it was intended that the day would be filled with a street parade to allow the public to appreciate the trade and labor organizations’ work. After the parade, a festival was to be held to amuse local workers and their families. In later years, prominent men and women had speeches. This is less common now but is sometimes seen in election years.
One of the reasons for choosing to celebrate this on the first Monday in September, and not on May 1, which is common in the rest of the world, was to add a holiday in the long gap between Independence Day in July and Thanksgiving in November.