Seeing Off the Summer Days: Ways to Celebrate Labor Day 

USA flag on the background of a flower bed

Labor Day in the United States is celebrated annually on the first Monday of September. Parades and demonstrations are traditionally held on this day, officially Labor Day is a day off. It is also customary to arrange various processions, car and bike rides, and large-scale concerts. And the end of warm summer days is celebrated on this day.

There are many ideas for celebrating Labor Day. To make it easier for you to choose your own way to celebrate Labor Day, we will tell you the story of the holiday and make a small list of ideas that you can adopt.

How it all began 

Black and white photo of people with placards and smartphones at the protests

The history of the holiday traces its roots back to the middle of the XIX century, when the "Order of the Knights of Labor" was founded in the USA, whose members fought for the improvement of the situation of workers. Any person who supported its ideas and goals could become a member of the Order – there were no restrictions on gender, religion, nationality, profession, etc. The only exceptions were lawyers, doctors, bankers and producers and sellers of alcohol. The first because of their proximity to politics, the second were often considered charlatans profiting from human health, the third because they were monopolizers of monetary and credit funds, and the fourth because of the harmfulness and immorality of the profession. The Order existed until 1949.

The first celebration of Labor Day took place in 1882, and Labor Day became an official American holiday in 1894.

All over the world, Labor Day and the Day of Workers' Solidarity is celebrated on May 1, the day when a workers' demonstration was violently dispersed in Chicago. 

Traditions of different peoples

Bengal fire in hand, and fireworks in the sky

Different countries have their own traditions and customs to celebrate.

So, in Sicily, for example, meadow flowers are collected on this day, which, according to local legends, bring happiness. In France, young people give flowers to girls, for lazy ladies they choose holly, and lazy people are presented with a sprig of elderberry. Residents of Sweden on Labor Day weave wreaths, lead round dances and dance around the campfire, and with the advent of the century of technological progress they began to arrange fireworks and fire shows. Also on this day it is customary to burn the garbage accumulated for the whole year.

In the USA, the main celebrations take place in early autumn, and May 1 is a working day.

Residents of Scotland and Wales observe the tradition of holding animals between two large bonfires, it is believed that this way the animals will be less sick and will bring a large offspring. People were cleansed of their sins and ailments by dancing around the campfire and jumping over the fire.

In Canada, on Labor Day, it is considered a great sin if a person went to bed sober, so the fun throughout the country is significant.

In the Scandinavian countries, they also lead round dances, burn bonfires and sing a lot. According to Scandinavian beliefs, this drives away trolls.

In South Africa, large sales are held during the holiday. Thousands of people march with dances and chants in South Korea.

In China, various political leaders give speeches at factories and plants on Labor Day and award the best workers. 

Celebration Ideas

We have prepared a small list of ideas on how to have fun on a long weekend at the end of summer and celebrate Labor Day.

1. Barbecue

Vegetables and meat are fried on the barbecue

Having a barbecue in the backyard of the house and inviting friends and neighbors is probably the most common Labor Day tradition. However, you can cook a barbecue not only on the street but also in the house, having previously decorated the room in honor of the holiday with checkered tablecloths and themed signs. In fairness, it should be noted that an outdoor barbecue will be more in line with tradition. And in order to protect yourself from the weather, you can install an awning, a sunshade or a tent for events in the yard.

Traditionally, brisket, pork or ribs are prepared for the holiday. The latter are the most successful.

You can add a few fun activities to the program of friendly gatherings: games, dances, lotteries, and so on.

2. Picnic

A blanket lies on the grass, bread and snacks are on it

A picnic in nature is fun and delicious. Here you can cook delicious dishes or limit yourself to burgers and hot dogs, fry marshmallows, tell or listen to funny (or scary) stories around a cheerful campfire, admire the scattering of stars in the dark high sky and just enjoy chatting with family and friends. You can play board games or catch-up with children, play an amateur football match or plunge into the still warm water of a lake or river.

Just do not forget to take disposable tableware and comfortable folding chairs with you, and when going home, clean up the garbage. 

3. Corporate party

People clink glasses

Be sure to organize corporate activities (an event) in honor of Labor Day for the worker community of your company. You can organize the best trip to nature with a barbecue or a picnic, or you can hold a short meeting with gratitude for high-quality and productive work throughout the year, organize a solemn awarding of the best workers and encouragement of the most diligent ones, albeit with less success in work. They can be awarded diplomas and letters of thanks, small souvenirs and a company logo, or additional bonuses in work (another day off, an extra break for a snack during the next month, etc.).

The next stage of the holiday can be a fun quiz or a thematic quest game, and then a party with an invited DJ or, if the company's finances allow, a performance by famous artists and comedians. If you manage to plan everything correctly and competently, then next year you will see how the team has rallied, how people working in the company are determined to improve.

Food can be brought to the table by the employees themselves, or you can contact a catering company to please your staff and give them the opportunity to completely relax and reboot for the next labor feats. 

4. Sports festival

Woman squatting tying shoelaces on sneakers

Even if your employees are not fans of sports activities, going to the stadium for a friendly match (football, baseball, tennis, badminton – let your work team choose for itself) on the one hand will encourage the spirit of rivalry in them, and on the other – will be able to rally them even more. At the end of the event, be sure to reward the winner and encourage the loser with small prizes. 

5. Bike ride

Two people on bicycles ride along the road along the river

A great idea to celebrate Labor Day would be to organize a bike ride. If not all members of your family have their own two-wheeled transport, you can contact a company that rents bicycles. The summer breeze, the forest trail lying under the wheels and the opportunity to enjoy the speed of driving will give you and your household members a lot of pleasure. You will certainly want to repeat it!

6. A joint trip on a three-day excursion

There are three days off ahead, so why not take full advantage of them and spend time with your family in an interesting and fun way. It is advised to drive to a place where you haven't been yet, admire unfamiliar landscapes, look at the unknown to you sights, try new dishes.

7. Hiking

 People walk on top of the mountain

Another idea on how best to spend a few days off so as not to sit on the couch is to gather your family, call friends and acquaintances and go hiking. You need to plan everything in advance, but it's better to involve all the participants in this. Believe me, you would never have come up with so many ideas yourself. One head is good, but two is better – so go ahead. Ask your team to determine the route, make sure that there is always some kind of pond on your way where you could swim - in the last warm days missing such an opportunity is just a sin! Buy groceries, pack your things, tents and sleeping bags and hit the road!

8. Fireworks

Bright fireworks on the black sky

On Labor Day in the morning, go to the festive parade with the whole family, check out the attractions, walk around the city, have a snack in one of the cafes, and in the evening admire the festive fireworks. If your city authorities did not please you with such a spectacle, then why not arrange it yourself?

9. Shopping

Black and red discount coupons

Traditionally, many boutiques, shops and markets arrange large-scale sales on Labor Day. Take the opportunity to make long-delayed purchases or just wander through the rows and between the shelves and look out for something for yourself and your children. Let it be not a very useful thing, but just a funny souvenir, because even small gifts are very pleasant to receive.

10. Public works

Young man helping an elderly man out of the car

Organize public works in honor of Labor Day for yourself, your family or employees of your company. Perhaps this is not the most popular way to spend weekends, but it perfectly matches the theme of the holiday. It is possible to organize a fundraiser to achieve a noble and useful goal for society. You can also for several days provide all possible assistance to lonely elderly people who have problems with the musculoskeletal system or some other ailment that prevents them from living fully.

Think about it, maybe you will come up with more ideas about what kind of help and to whom you can provide on a voluntary basis. 

11. Movie night

Couple sitting on sofa and looking at laptop screen

 In the hustle and bustle of everyday work, we often do not have enough time to simply watch a recently released movie (or rather, for quite a while ago, but there was no time for it) or to review our favorite TV series. For sure, your household members will have several films that have not yet been viewed. Stock up on popcorn, get together and arrange a big movie show!

12. Do it yourself

A girl and a man are sculpting on a potter's wheel

Family is the most important thing in a person's life, whatever the people who are exclusively focused on a career say. But, trying to provide our children with a reliable rear and a good future, we spend less and less time with them, and time is so fleeting and children grow up very quickly. Use this long weekend and spend more time with them, do one thing – cook lunch, build a doghouse in the country, assemble a model of an airplane or a sailing ship that has been waiting for its turn for a long time, take a walk in the forest to collect leaves and late flowers for the herbarium. You can find so many joint activities, especially if you ask the child.

13. Family weekend

Two people are hugging, a woman with children is standing nearby

A family trip to the country is a great idea to spend a long weekend. Especially since it is quite possible to make it a working weekend in honor of Labor Day – gather the remaining harvest, weed the beds before the winter cold, water the garden and sweep the lawn in front of the house. Evenings can be spent with the family, having a barbecue and playing board and other games. And if you have a water sprinkler on your country site, then there will be enough fun for everyone, even grandparents are unlikely to be able to stay away. 

What to give

Wild West family portrait #1 - Any family combination
Wild West family portrait #1 - Any family combination
Wild West family portrait #1 - Any family combination
Wild West family portrait #1 - Any family combination
Wild West family portrait #1 - Any family combination
Portrait of a family dressed in historical royal clothes with hats stands on a wooden shelf near a gray vase
Wild West family portrait #1 - Any family combination
Wild West family portrait #1 - Any family combination
Wild West family portrait #1 - Any family combination
Wild West family portrait #1 - Any family combination
Wild West family portrait #1 - Any family combination
Wild West family portrait #1 - Any family combination
Wild West family portrait #1 - Any family combination
Wild West family portrait #1 - Any family combination
Wild West family portrait #1 - Any family combination
Wild West family portrait #1 - Any family combination
Portrait of a family dressed in historical royal clothes with hats stands on a wooden shelf near a gray vase
Wild West family portrait #1 - Any family combination
Wild West family portrait #1 - Any family combination
Wild West family portrait #1 - Any family combination
Wild West family portrait #1 - Any family combination
Wild West family portrait #1 - Any family combination

Wild West family portrait #1 - Any family combination

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As a gift, you can present a small souvenir, just try to make it related to the theme of the holiday. Although you shouldn't obsess over this, if as a result you will not be able to make a present. After all, if your friend or girlfriend collects figurines of dogs or collects scented candles, a mismatch with the mood of Labor Day is still not a reason not to please your dear person.

Or, if you really want to be original, then give a friend or girlfriend a costumed portrait – the entourage can be ordered accordingly, and the recipient will be delighted.