Labor Day Origins

This weekend coming up is Labor Day Weekend. It is hailed as the official mark to the end of summer. The official opening of the summer season is usually Memorial Day weekend. This gives us about 18 weeks to enjoy summer activities. Kids usually have the summer’s off but most people still need to work during those 18 weeks. Unless you are a teacher and we know you need 18 weeks off to survive! If you are one of the lucky people who decided to buy a home during those 18 weeks, this is what you are celebrating now.

9-5 Work Days

Prior to the Labor movement normal shift hours were running over 12 hours and more with 6-day workweeks. It has some mixed roots as either being a movement to create reformed labor hours and/or as a celebration for those who did labor. Regardless, what we got out of it is a 3 day weekend and a Federal Holiday. The normal workweek now follows the rules of 8. This is a coined term of, “8 hours to work, 8 hours for rest, and 8 hours for recreation!” This was written on labor signs back in NYC in 1882 during the labor movement and early days of the reform and union.

White Clothing When?

Most of the age-old sayings around Labor day have vanished. There is one that still kicks around, “don’t wear white after labor day.” If you think about the movie Dirty Dancing since most everyone has seen that, you will remember that most of the guests at the resort always wear some type of white outfit. This is for two reasons. One it was simply cooler to wear white in the summer. The second is for more affluent reasons. The rich liked to have something that made them stand out. The cities at this point were very dirty and people normally had to wear dark clothing. Wearing white meant you could afford to be out of the city and wear clean clothes. I’m putting this all rather nicely. Whatever the reason was, it isn’t true anymore. You can wear whatever you want whenever you want at any time.

Celebration

Regardless of how we got here, we are here. It is time to come together for BBQ’s, last-minute swimming, camping, hiking, floating, boating, and any other number of activities. If you did buy a home in a new area make sure you check out the town’s ordinances and the community board to see what type of activities are planned. This would be a great time to introduce yourself and your family to the area. Enjoy the last bits of sunshine, warmth, and low-key atmosphere of a lazy summer. Soon the white stuff will be falling from the sky and you will actually want to wear clothes.