Labor Day

Labor Day Parade

Photo Credit: sfmission.com
(Creative Commons)
Labor Day weekend - the end of the summer and the last occasion of the year on which white can be worn! It's a popular holiday with parades and other events and people travelling long distances to visit family and friends. It's a great party atmosphere, yet there's a serious point to it.

Why do we celebrate Labor Day? Well, it's both a uniquely American holiday and part of a great worldwide tradition.

Labor Day is, as the name suggests, a recognition of the importance of the working man and woman. In these days of high finance and global capitalism it's sometimes easy to forget the people who actually do the physical work of making the stuff we buy in the stores. Many other countries have similar celebrations but on different days.

So when is Labor Day? In the US it's the first Monday in September, with the weekend before generally being a holiday. However in the rest of the world similar celebrations often take place on or around the beginning of May - May Day, known as International Workers Day. It's been suggested that this date was too linked up with thoughts of communism for the US to be comfortable with it, hence the adoption of a different date. If true this is especially ironic since International Workers Day was initiated as a response to events in Chicago.

Whatever the history of Labor Day, today it's a state holiday across the US and a great weekend.

White After abor Day

Many people know that you shouldn't wear white after Labor Day - and many people ignore the rule! But where did this strange custom come from in the first place?

There doesn't seem to be any clear answer to this. The custom varies from region to region and appears to have begun in the South as a prohibition on white shoes only. Thereafter it appears to have spread and become more general.

Whatever the origin, as with many fashion "rules" there are many people who actively seek to flout it in public and dare to be different.