Traditions of Labor Day

Labor Day is fast approaching, often associated with the end of summer for many living by the traditional school schedule. While Labor Day weekend is generally observed as a seasonal farewell to summer freedom, let’s not forget the original meaning of this national holiday - to celebrate the social and economic achievements of hard-working Americans who contribute to the economy.

Numerous traditions are associated with Labor Day, including bringing out your red, white, and blue and expressing your national pride with patriotic decor. As a quality retailer of USA-made patriotic and other holiday or event decor, Independence Bunting is proud to talk about the history and traditions of Labor Day.

History of the Holiday

Labor Day became an official holiday in 1894. The Industrial Revolution had swept through the states and many Americans had to trade in farm life for factory life. People eagerly filled factory positions, but at that time, there were few regulations concerning the rights of employees. Many people and children even suffered working 12-hour days with meager pay, as no laws yet existed preventing minors from working.

From this period of upset and anguish, an uprising of people came together to rally for workers’ rights. In New York, the first Labor Day was observed on Tuesday, September 5th, 1882 with a parade of thousands of workers marching through New York City, risking their jobs by protesting the unfair working conditions. The Central Labor Union (CLU) of New York was responsible for organizing this and truly spearheaded the movement for workers’ rights and establishing labor unions in the interest of workers.

The first bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but it was Oregon who actually passed the first labor law in 1887. Later, during that first year, four more states (Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York) recognized the Labor Day holiday. By June 28, 1894, Congress passed an act officially recognizing Labor Day as a legal holiday.

Traditions Associated with Labor Day

Not Wearing White After the Holiday

This is arguably the most well-known tradition related to Labor Day. Many people are familiar with it, but few know why it exists. The holiday dates back to the late 1800s. During that period of American history, many people were becoming millionaires, which ruffled the feathers of socialites who came from old money. In order to distinguish who was “in” and who was “out,” numerous silly fashion rules were established.

One of these was the rule that you could not wear white after the summer ended. Since Labor Day comes about in September, it marks a natural end point for the summer season. Although the saying persists, few people actually still follow this rule.

Modern Observation of Labor Day

These days, many people do not associate the holiday with the tailcoats of the Industrial Revolution. Instead, it is typically viewed as a nice respite from work. Many parades are still held and many cities have their own events including fairs, car shows and even film festivals. We also love to celebrate with our friends and family, with grand barbeques, picnics, or beach days near the coast. For many, it is seen as the last chance to throw a big summer party before the school year gets underway.

How Much Do Americans Travel on Labor Day Weekend?

Many people use the three-day weekend as a chance to go on a trip. A lot of people head to the beach or go camping so that they can squeeze in just a little more relaxation from their summer vacation. Labor Day is historically one of the busiest travel days in the U.S. with many cars hitting the road. Approximately 85 percent of Americans travel for this holiday. Fortunately, since Labor Day is still during the summer, gas prices still tend to be a little lower than average. If you’re fortunate enough, you may also choose to travel by air. Only about 7 percent of Americans choose to travel by air during Labor Day weekend.

Enjoy the Festivities

No matter how you celebrate Labor Day, this is a day for you. Celebrate your commitment and hard work that you put into each day. Laugh with friends, relax and enjoy your proudly decorated backyard.

Express your holiday spirit by adorning your home with decorations from Independence Bunting. If you’re throwing a BBQ, decorations can really help set the tone and encourage the festivities. Independence Bunting’s decorations are large, bright and bold, allowing you to stand out from your neighbors. The best part is our high quality material will last for many occasions, year after year, and even through inclement weather.

Whether you’re planning or participating in a Labor Day weekend celebration, it’s important to understand the history of the holiday so you can truly appreciate it. To show your patriotism, Independence Bunting offers quality decorations in various styles and sizes, as well as beautiful material for other holidays year round. As always, all Independence Bunting products are proudly made in the USA!

Explore our website or give us a call directly at 1-800-995-9129 for any questions or to place an order.