National holidays

The tradition of Thanksgiving

Once a year, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving on the 4th Thursday of November. Celebrations include spending time with friends and family, eating turkey and pumpkin pie and watching or playing football.

Most cities across the U.S celebrate Thanksgiving by holding a parade; the most well known of these is the New York City Macy's parade which lasts 3 hours and is shown on television.

The celebration of Thanksgiving was originally a feast to give thanks for the previous harvest which dates back to the 17th century. It was celebrated on different dates across the country until 1789 when George Washington declared the first national Thanksgiving Day.

The following infographic, created by History.com illustrates Thanksgiving in numbers and gives an interesting insight into this holiday.

What is Labor Day?

For most people in the United States, Memorial day marks the start of the summer with Labor Day marking its end. This holiday is a national holiday, which also means a day off for most employees.

However, Labor day is not just a reason for a day off. It is a day set aside to pay tribute to men and women who work. It has been celebrated officially in North America since 1894.

This holiday was originally created by labor unions who celebrated the first labor days back in the 19th century. Most historians credit Peter McGuire, who was general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, with the idea of a special day to honour workers.

Labor day parades occur across the United States and Canada with the first parade occurring on September 5th 1882 in New York City. Labor day is celebrated on the first Monday of September each year as this date is halfway between Independance Day and Thanksgiving.

Here at Expat US we hope you all have a great Labor day weekend and enjoy the last of the summer! 

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