Labour Day, the last long weekend of the summer. For us it’s a weekend of patio weather, cold drinks, and relaxing under the stars on a new O Mattress memory foam mattress from Omni Mattress, but Labour Day isn’t about leisure. It’s about labour! What is Labour Day, and why do we Canadians celebrate it? Omni Mattress digs deep to find out what’s so special about Labour Day, a holiday as patriotic as our Canadian mattress.
Labour Day, celebrated on the first Monday of September, has been a part of Canadian culture for over a century. It’s celebrated nationwide; even French Canadians have the Fête du Travail, their version of Labour Day. The Americans also celebrate their own holiday, Labor Day, at the same time. In various countries they celebrate Labour Day, with different dates and different forms, but it’s in North America Labour Day is an institution. Why?
Labour Day in Canada started in the 1800s as a way for unions to advocate for better hours and fairer wages. Canada would beat the Americans at this innovation when in 1872 the Toronto Typographical Union marched for a 58 hour work week (And you thought your 40 hours were brutal, 58 hours would make us crash on our matress!). This sparked sympathy strikes from 27 unions in Toronto. When the Editor for the Toronto Globe charged the strikers with conspiracy, this prompted Prime Minister John A MacDonald to get rid of anti-union laws and parliament to pass the Trade Union Act to limit work week hours. In commemoration, we made Labour Day an official holiday in 1894.
The first Labor Day long weekend celebrations were in Toronto, but soon spread to other cities in Canada. There would be the parade, where workers marched and represented their unions (Maybe even a Canada mattress making union in there somewhere!). There would also be games, picnics, speeches, and other fun activities. These Labour Day celebrations built unity with the working class.
But as the years progressed, the labour and union part of Labour Day faded away. By the Cold War era, Labour Day wasn’t much about the labour, as the public soured on organizations resembling socialist policy and other holidays took on significance for organized labour. But the Labour Day holiday didn’t go away. It just changed.
Labour Day parades and picnics still happen, but now Labour Day is a long weekend, the last one of the summer, where people take advantage of the extra day to take vacations, go camping, or just enjoy some free time with friends and family. Labour Day spawned some quirky traditions, like the rule that one doesn’t wear white after Labour Day. Atlantic Canada has the Wharf Rat Rally. But one of the more well known Labour Day traditions is the Labour Day Classic, a series of football games played by rival CFL teams. For some, like the Calgary/Edmonton and Saskatchewan/Winnipeg Labour Day Classic, it’s the biggest game of the year next to the Grey Cup!
We at Omni Mattress love Labour Day as a day to have fun, be with the ones you love, and enjoy a game or two. Labour Day also hosts many sales and specials. Bet Bloom mattress, MattressMattress, and MDG bring out the sales. Instead of fighting the crowds for a mattress for sale at a mattress clearance store or browse for hours searching for the perfect mattress websites when all you need is an O Mattress at the click of a mouse? The O Mattress from Omni Mattress, with a gel-infused memory foam layer on top of a cushioning comfort layer and a resilient foundation layer, is the perfect Canadian mattress for side sleepers, back sleepers, any sleepers! Guaranteed approval for up to $3000 on the O Powerline, bad credit or no credit at all. Don’t settle for a cheap mattress or a free mattress you just found, go for the best memory foam mattress on the market, the O Mattress from Omni Mattress!