How long until Labour Day ?
|This holiday is today!|
Dates of Labour Day
|This holiday is most commonly associated as a commemoration of the achievements of the labor movement|
Labour Day is a public holiday in New Zealand where it was once called 'Eight Hour Demonstration Day'.
This holiday is celebrated on the fourth Monday in October.
Like the similar holiday in Australia, the origin of this holiday goes back to the eight-hour working day movement that started in the mid nineteenth century.
Unusually, this holiday can actually be traced to a specific person. In the newly founded Wellington colony, a carpenter called Samuel Parnell refused to work for more than eight hours a day.
He encouraged other tradesmen in the colony to also restrict their work to only eight hours a day and by October 1840, a local workers' meeting passed a resolution supporting the idea.
On October 28, 1890, the 50th anniversary of the eight-hour day was marked with a parade. This led to an annual celebration in late October as either Labour Day or Eight-Hour Demonstration Day.
The New Zealand government legislated that the day be a public holiday from 1900, but they didn't specify when it should be celebrated. This led to the holiday being on different days in different provinces.
This date difference even led to complaints that sailors were having extra holidays by timing their visits to ports in different provinces to coincide with local Labour Day holidays - an ironic but inventive misuse of the idea of Labour day.
In 1910 the situation was clarified when the holiday was fixed on the Fourth Monday in October across New Zealand.
Did you know?
New Zealand was the first country in the world to adopt the eight hour working day, initially restricted to tradespeople and labourers