It's always seemed notable to me that Labour Day is a day as far from the labours of the day as one could imagine.
Labour Day in Canada dates back to 1872. Almost a full decade before the US Labour Day holiday.
Strangely, it has it's roots in Progressive Conservative government policy, ideology and passions as I wrote about last year.
But it couldn't be more different than the European May Day pagan celebration turned riotous workers rebellion.
The first Monday in September was chosen. Being the last weekend before children returned to school, this created a three-day, family oriented holiday.
One of my favourite geopolitical commentators, George Friedman, pointed out recently that rather than marching under the red flag, American families headed to the beach or lake or wherever for a last summer outing. The vendors at these places thought it was a delightful idea. And so, Labor Day didn't become a day to plan revolutions, but a time to kick back and have a beer, and for the vacation industry to have one last summer blow-off.
Think about it. in America workers wanted more money, more rights, and more recognition. The threat was a European style revolution. The solution was a holiday, one the kids wouldn't let the workers ignore - so no meetings or marches. Those making money out of summer got a three-day weekend to woo the crowds. And the workers were recognized for being workers, and at least that beef was taken care of. And some of the Christian churches who were not happy with a pagan holiday being Labor Day, were also appeased.
To get a sense of the difference between Canada and Europe when facing political and economic chaos, the Canadian solution was to turn a revolution into an opportunity to go to the lake, a marketable event, keep the churches quiet, and let the kids call off the union meeting.
Happy Labor Day, and think about its pure genius.
Writing about life, citizenship, and Nova Scotia.