Happy Labor Day to all of my fellow Americans.
For those of you from other parts of the world, every year Americans celebrate the first Monday in September as Labor Day. I realize that many other countries set aside a day to honor labor and I applaud those of you that do. As a dedicated member of labor in the United States for over forty years, I’m taking this opportunity to celebrate all those workers in my country.
According to Wikipedia, the Labor Day holiday “… honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend and it is considered the unofficial end of summer in the United States. It is recognized as a federal holiday.”
I’m not quite sure if we have an “official” start and end of summer in the United States, but when I was growing up, I know I learned in school that summer started on June 21st and ended on or about September 22 or 23. In the Northern Hemisphere, these are the dates of the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox. These, combined with the winter solstice and the vernal equinox define the “astronomical seasons” and occur because of the “natural rotation of Earth around the sun.”
Here in America though, and I’m sure in other parts of the world, we define some unofficial seasons. For us, the summer season starts on May 31, which is the American Memorial Day holiday, and as stated earlier, it ends today. For many of us, it’s the last long weekend of summer weather so it’s the last opportunity to spend the day at the pool, the lake, the beach, or the mountains. Somewhere in the country, I’m sure there will be some parades, rallies, or other events to honor labor, but I’m equally sure that most of us are going to be at the pool, the lake, the beach, the mountains, or somewhere else barbecuing, drinking beer, and having a fine old time.
Oh yeah! One last thing about Labor Day. What would a US holiday be without sales. If you are an American, you know what I’m talking about. For those of you that don’t, this is what we do. Every store and business you can imagine has a big sale on every major American holiday. So, a whole bunch of us Americans are going to be shopping and spending bank loads of money on this Labor Day. Good for them! I’m not.