Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Why Are We Celebrating Labour Day?

Not that I'm complaining about an extra day off! I asked several people and none of us knew the origins of Labour Day (Americans: ignore the u; it's silent, eh?).

From Wikipedia:
Labour Day or Labor Day is an annual holiday to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers. Labour Day has its origins in the labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest.

The eight-hour day. That sounds pretty good. Oh wait. Eight hours of work + 1 hour travel time + 1 hour lunch = 10 hours...should I take that 2 hours from recreation or sleep? I guess the hour spent getting ready in the morning is recreation too. And cooking and laundry. That recreation time is whittling away. I guess that's what weekends are for! Still, it's hard to complain; we actually have it pretty easy.

Did you know that before the 1900s the work day used to be 10 to 16 hours a day, 6 days a week? Of course, the women stayed home to cook, clean and procreate back then, so that would be 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We've come a long way, baby. I guess that eight-hour day only applied to the men, because they wouldn't have cooked, cleaned or cared for the kids back then. Men have evolved significantly since women went to work outside the home. Thank God for that!

So Labour Day really is worth celebrating. And what better way to celebrate than a day without labour? Hope you all had a great Labour Day long weekend and a good first day back to school!

1 comment:

Fickle Cattle said...

Happy labor day! Hope you enjoyed it. :-)