Why is Labor Day celebrated in September in the US but in May in Europe?
Labor Day, a national holiday in the US since 1894, is now a three-day weekend that signals the end of summer. It’s a time for picnics, a long weekend in the country, or just relaxing. Few people can recall the big parades that once celebrated the accomplishments of unions. In fact, even the union leaders who picked early September for the holiday had more than idealism in mind: it neatly filled the holiday gap that then existed between July 4th and Thanksgiving.
In Europe, which did not observe these holidays, socialists in 1890 chose May 1 to demonstrate in support of the labor movement. May Day in Europe was traditionally a time to celebrate the coming of spring, a day when people were already used to being outdoors. The labor demonstrations, an annual affair from then on, eventually became the European Labor Day.