Labor Day Observations Around the World

Students in the United States will be enjoying a three-day weekend, as schools will be closed on Monday in observance of Labor Day. This public holiday, which takes place on the first Monday of September, is devoted to celebrating the American Labor Movement and to appreciating the achievements and hard work of the countries’ workers. The day was declared a federal holiday in 1894 by President Grover Cleveland. Labor Day now serves as an unofficial end of summer celebration, typically enjoyed with town parades or fairs, outdoor barbeques and last days at the beach before the fall weather approaches.

Freedom of Country, Freedom of Heart," by Kirsten, age 12 from the USA

Freedom of Country, Freedom of Heart,” by Kirsten, age 12 from the USA

Canada joins the US in celebrating Labor Day on September 1st, and many countries celebrate a very similar holiday on May 1st called International Worker’s Day or sometimes Labour Day. In many Asian nations, this day is celebrated with elaborate parades and military marches. The Catholic Church dedicated May 1st to “Saint Joseph the Worker,” the patron saint of workers and craftsmen. Many European nations honor their workers much like the USA does, with paid days off from work and no school, and celebrate with street fairs and family picnics. In some countries, Labour Day coincides with May Day, another public holiday celebrated on May 1stin many European countries.

Some of our partner countries who celebrate International Worker’s Day or Labour Day include:

Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey and South Africa.
Enjoy some sampling of their artwork below!

Resources used:

http://www.ilo.org/public/english/support/lib/about/mayday.htm
http://www.dol.gov/laborday/history.htm

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By Elizabeth Kirst

 

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