Learn English – All about Labor Day in America

Americans love their holidays.  This video account of what we do during Labor Day weekend and what happens culturally AFTER the weekend can provide a springboard for comparisons with your students’ holiday weekends.


T – Episode 45 – All about Labor Day

Hey, there. This is Maria from English without Fear. Today I’m going to tell you a few things about the American holiday, Labor Day. Labor Day weekend is coming up very soon. So, sit back, relax, listen and just try to understand as much as you can. 

(Intro: English without fear where you can learn to speak English naturally, through listening to stories.)

Yes, many Americans are happy that Labor Day Weekend and the Labor Day holiday is just in a few days. Why are Americans happy about this? Well, for one thing, they get a day off. My husband will have Monday off to stay at home. But some Americans are sad.

Why are some Americans sad about a holiday? Because Labor Day weekend means, indicates, points to the fact that summer is over! I know that is sad! 

The summer for Americans traditionally starts at the end of May with another three-day-weekend named Memorial Day. So, that between Memorial Day in May and Labor Day in September, that is the period that we think about as summer.

What does the word ‘labor’ mean? Labor Day, Labor Day, weekend. The word ‘labor’ means to work. So, the holiday is a day to honor people who labor, who work. And many people in America work very hard. Some people even have two jobs.

Do I work? Yes, I labor. I work hard at producing these videos, at helping other people learn English. And I labor and work hard at cooking healthy, tasty, delicious meals for Mike and for me.

Mike, my husband, he labors. He works hard at the office as an engineer. And he labors, he works hard around the house, especially outside the house. 

How do Americans celebrate Labor Day? What will we be doing this weekend, Labor Day Weekend? Some people watch or walk in parades, parades in big cities and small towns honoring, celebrating work and workers.

Some Americans get together and have picnics in parks or they cook out. They barbecue meat at friends’ houses. Or they might watch fireworks at night. Yes, some places in America have fireworks. 

What else do Americans do for Labor Day? Yes, some places have concerts, musical concerts outside because the weather is still good. Some Americans go shopping because many stores (since they know a lot of Americans are not working), many stores have sales where they offer items at lower prices. Therefore, many Americans go shopping.

What happens after Labor Day Weekend? I told you that Labor Day Weekend marks the end of summer. Therefore, after Labor Day Weekend in early September, many things begin.

School begins for a lot of students. That is when students change grades or levels of class. Programs begin. For instance, at churches, choir starts up. Bible studies begin. Teenagers have their youth groups usually start back up. 

The other things that are cultural in America, they begin as well. For instance, sports! Yes, the fall sports begin, both in schools and professionally. Music groups begin –  symphony, band, all the practices and…. shows. My mother-in-law begins going to plays, theater productions as well as symphony. That all starts up in September for many people. 

You’re gonna laugh at this, but when my mother was a teenager and a young woman, she remembers that after Labor Day, no one wore white clothes, white shoes, especially women. And it was especially the shoes: white purses, white shoes after Labor Day. 

Fashion said, fashion had a rule: ‘Don’t wear white after Labor Day.’ I don’t think that rule applies now, but it did a long time ago.

What about you? Do you celebrate a day to honor work and workers? Tell me about it. Leave me a comment below this video. 

And if you are a teacher of some English language learners and you would like the written transcript for today’s episode, just go to my website, www.Englishwithoutfear.com where you can enter your email address to sign up for my newsletter. But by signing up for my newsletter, your email goes on a list. And every time I produce a video like this about a story or an event in slow English, I will notify you, send you out the link to the video and the transcript and also give you some ideas, some lesson planning ideas for activities you can use with this video. 

Well, that’s it for this episode. This is Maria from English without Fear. Talk to you next time. 

(Outro: Thanks for watching. For questions or comments. Here’s my email.) 

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