Labor Day is a strange holiday. Unlike the majority of contrived, superficial American celebratory days, Labor Day is not based solely around the idea of gift giving. Labor Day in modern times has become yet another day where people can enjoy the day off from work and freely consume copious amounts of alcohol early in the day without the stigma of being a day-drinker. Labor Day is a wonderful day, when loyal citizens haul large quantities of food preparation equipment and tents out to a local park and attempt for perhaps the final time of the summer season to acquire melanoma.
Labor Day has ultimately become a holiday signifying the end of the summer season. After observing this annual celebration, people will return home and prepare to hunker down for the long winter months right around the corner. Although the outdoor climate and general environment remain the same, Labor Day symbolizes the annual curtailment of fun. There is nothing to look forward to besides several months of bitter cold a half-dozen family oriented holidays that will ultimately have you suffering even more.
Labor Day is also a day of intense consumerism. Retailers typically run deep discounts today, knowing that the volume of people freed from the bondage of their daily labor will be available to shop. For individuals working in the retail or merchandising sector, Labor Day is exactly that – a day of lengthy and painful labor. Ironically, due to all the sales at local stores, roughly 25% of the American population is coerced into actually laboring more today than normal. The Knights of Labor will never appreciate the irony nor will they know how dramatically their plan backfired for a quarter of the national proletariat.
One of the more popular colloquialisms of Labor Day is the fashion restrictions it marks. It is common knowledge in this country that white clothes should not be worn after Labor Day. Because high-society of the Gilded Age was engineered by wealthy and pretentious women from old money, they set in place an array of fashion faux paus to differentiate themselves from the indulgent and vulgar new money of the time. One of these rules was that white clothing was not to be worn after Labor Day. These old crows literally had nothing else to do. Therefore, wearing white after Labor Day is simply unacceptable if you adhere to social dictums from the late 19th century. When you leave your house tomorrow, be sure it’s not in white. Make sure you’re dressed appropriately for the fall season like all the other Robber Barons.
Labor Day is not purely an American holiday. Canada also celebrates the same Labor Day for much the same reasons. Historically, the differences between Canadian Labour Day and American Labor Day are minor. The most egregious variation is the rogue “u” that Canadians add to random words to complicate the English language. Of paramount importance when celebrating Canadian Labour Day is wearing the proper colour when strolling through the city centre in honour, using your looney to buy a twenty-sixer to enjoy on the chesterfield. Make sure everything is spelled correctly, you’re in Canada, eh.
However, none of this Labor Day foolishness remotely orbits any rational thought nor comes in any proximity of the real reasons for the creation of Labor Day. As with virtually every holiday in this wonderful nation, the meaning has been buried under jargon, colloquialisms, and false traditions…and probably several dozen cases of beer as well. Grover Cleveland is probably spinning in his grave. Cheers.