Labour Day

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noun British.
a holiday in honor of labor, celebrated on May 1 in Britain and some parts of the Commonwealth, but on the first Monday in September in Canada, on the fourth Monday in October in New Zealand, and with varying dates in the different states of Australia.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is Labour Day?

Labour Day is a day to honor workers and commemorate the labor movement.

The day is often marked by parades and political demonstrations focused on the rights of workers and proper working conditions.

Labour Day is observed in many places but is sometimes called International Workers’ Day or simply Workers’ Day. The U.S. holiday known as Labor Day, which also honors workers, occurs on a different date.

When is Labour Day?

In many locations, Labour Day occurs on May 1, a day also observed in some places as May Day. In New Zealand, Labour Day falls on the fourth Monday in October. Different places in Australia observe Labour Day on different dates, including on May 1.

In the U.S., the day called Labor Day occurs on the first Monday in September. This same date is used in Canada, where the day is known as Labour Day.

More information and context on Labour Day

May 1 became associated with workers and the labor movement in the late 1800s when the date was chosen to commemorate labor protests at Haymarket Square in Chicago in 1886. At that time, workers went on strike to demand an eight-hour workday. In what became known as the Haymarket Riot or the Haymarket Affair, police killed several protesters, and a bomb was thrown at police. Although the person behind the bombing was never identified, some anarchist organizers were arrested and sentenced to death for the incident.

In the U.S., the holiday known as Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894. May 1 had been observed in honor of workers and the labor movement prior to that time, but President Grover Cleveland is credited with promoting the move to the first Monday in September to distance the day from its anarchist and socialist origins.

What are some terms that often get used in discussing Labour Day?

How is Labour Day discussed in real life?

Labour Day is often observed with marches, demonstrations, and other events focused on the rights of workers. It is sometimes called Workers’ Day or International Workers’ Day. In some places, it’s synonymous with the day known as May Day.

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True or False?

Labour Day falls on the same day in every place where it’s observed.

How to use Labour Day in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Labour Day

Labour Day

a public holiday in many countries in honour of labour, usually held on May 1See also Labor Day
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012