Why Do We Celebrate Labor Day?

labordayEvery first Monday of September, Americans take a moment to recognize the contributions of the working man. It was officially inaugurated in 1882 and there are several reasons why people celebrate Labor Day.

To Make Amends

There are many theories concerning its origin. Some claim President Cleveland signed it into law to make up for what he did in the past. There was a rally by railway unionists in Chicago. The President ordered state troops to take command. The ensuing battle led to the deaths of over 30 workers.

Others claim that the holiday was put in place because of an incident in Chicago wherein 8 workers were unjustly accused (and executed) for crimes they didn’t commit.

There are other legends, but they have a common theme. That is, it was to pay back the workers for the wrongs committed against them. This probably doesn’t just apply to the American holiday. In many parts of the world, the reason why people celebrate Labor Day was actually the government’s way of trying to make amends.

To Honor Their Contribution to Society

Whatever its origin, its purpose now is clear. The day is meant to recognize the contribution of the working man / woman. In the early years the day was meant for those who worked in factories. Today it encompasses everyone who toils, from those who plant crops to those who work in government.

These people perform different jobs, but each of them contributes something to society. Teachers educate the young, doctors take care of the ill and factory workers all help make society function.

Although there are many explanations, the main reason why people celebrate Labor Day is to show appreciation for the workers. In countries where the holiday is observed, it is all about giving the worker his due.

To Recognize Their Sacrifices

The day allows everyone to pause and recognize the sacrifice these people make. These men and women toil everyday. Their efforts don’t just require physical and mental sacrifice. Often times, family and personal time are set aside because of work. In most countries people are only supposed to work five days a week. In most cases however, they end up toiling virtually every day.

By setting aside a day, governments assure workers that their efforts are not in vain. This is one reason why people celebrate Labor Day. The holiday is their way of showing that the efforts they put in day in and day out are duly appreciated.

To Celebrate Life

In recent years the Labor Weekend in the US has become the time when families come together. In the US and increasingly in other countries, it has become the custom to hold some parades and other events. This gives the working individual the opportunity to spend time with the family.

To Make Their Feelings Known

In other parts of the world, the holiday is associated with rallies and speeches. During these events, laborers make their sentiments known. In other countries it’s the time when they make demands for wage increases.

The reason why people celebrate Labor Day has remained the same through the years. No matter what the economic situation may be, it’s still the time when governments take time out to pay homage to the worker.

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