Memorial Day vs Labor Day: Difference and Comparison

For many people, Memorial Day and Labor Day night have high significance, whereas for some it is nothing other than a national holiday.

But people are confused about the importance of the two days. These two days might not have much in common, but one similarity is that both these days are celebrated by the Americans.

Key Takeaways

  1. Memorial Day commemorates fallen military personnel, while Labor Day celebrates the achievements of the labor force.
  2. Memorial Day occurs on the last Monday of May, and Labor Day on the first Monday of September.
  3. Memorial Day marks the unofficial beginning of summer, while Labor Day signifies the end of summer.

Memorial Day vs Labor Day

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May. It is a day for remembering and honoring the military personnel who died while serving in the US Armed Forces. Labor Day is observed on the first Monday of September. It is a day to celebrate the contributions and achievements of American workers.

Memorial Day vs Labor Day

Memorial Day was founded by Lyndon Johnson who was the then President of America. The day is celebrated by various states of the USA due to its historical significance.

The day was made official after the passing of an ACT called the Uniform Monday Act in the year 1971 by General Logan.

The idea of celebration of Labour Day was first proposed by the Secretary of Central Labour Union, Matthew Maguire. Later on, it was put forth by Peter J.McGuire who was the then president of the American Federation of labor.

It is observed by many countries around the world including Italy, Norway, France, Germany, Spain, and other countries of the USA.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonMemorial DayLabor Day
Celebration DateMemorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday of May annually.Labor Day is celebrated on the First Monday of September annually.
Type of HolidayIt is a National Holiday.It is a Federal Holiday.
Reason for CelebrationIt is a day celebrated to remember those brave souls who died while fighting for a war.It is celebrated to pay tribute to the workers who are for the betterment of society.
Other NamesIt is also known as Decoration Day.It is also known as Labour Day or Workers Day in many countries.
SignificanceIt marks the beginning of the summer season unofficially.It marks the end of the summer season unofficially.
Similarities with the WorldMemorial Day is similar to Remembrance Day which is celebrated in different parts of the world on different days.The day is similar to International Worker’s Day which is celebrated on 1st May.
CelebrationsReligious services and picnics are held where families gather and enjoy themselves.Parades are barbeques are organized as a part of the Labor Day celebration.

What is Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is celebrated all across the states of the United States to pay gratitude and honor to the unsung heroes i.e. the soldiers who have given up their lives fighting in a war.

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Remembering them on this day helps us to recognize their efforts put into winning the true blessing o freedom. The day is celebrated on the last Monday of May every year and is marked as a federal holiday.

On this day the graves of the soldiers are decorated with flowers, flags, and wreaths, and thus is also known as Decoration Day.

The birthplace of this day is considered to be Waterloo, New York since the celebrations took place for the time there, although this is not a piece of confirmed information.

The day was earlier celebrated on May 1st, which is before the year 1971. The day was changed to the current one keeping in mind to create a three-day long weekend.

Similar to Memorial Day, many countries around the globe celebrate the day with the name Remembrance Day on different dates. The Union and the Confederate celebrated the day differently, initially, but merged into one later on.

The day marks the beginning of the Summer vacation in schools.

memorial day

What is Labor Day?

Labour Day is celebrated in America to pay gratitude and honor to the unrecognized efforts of the working class of people.

The main aim of this day is to celebrate the emergence of the Central Labor Union which was formed in the nineteenth century. The day is not only a celebration rather a protest which is used to symbolize social tranquillity.

Not only in the USA but many countries all across the world celebrate this day, on different dates and different names. The day is observed on the first Monday of September month.

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Initially, the day was celebrated in the month of May remembering the Haymarket Massacre incident that took place on 4th May 1886.

The working class of people protested for working only 8 hours instead of 10 or 12 which they were made to do exploiting their basic human rights.

Labour Day celebration is very much associated with a parade to exhibit to the people. It is also known as Worker’s Day since the primary aim of this day is to honor the working class for the upliftment of society.

The day is a gentle reminder of the struggles of the working class to all the people in the country.

labor day 1

Main Differences Between Memorial Day and Labor Day

  1. Memorial Day is a National Holiday while Labor Day is a Federal Holiday.
  2. Memorial Day is also known as Decoration Day and Labor Day is also known as Labour Day.
  3. Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday of May and Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September.
  4. Memorial Day has a resemblance to Remembrance Day and Labor Day is similar to International Workers Day.
  5.  Memorial Day and Labor Day marks the beginning and the end of the Summer season unofficially.
  6. The celebration of Memorial Day began after the Civil War in America in the year 1868 and the Labor Day celebration began after Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor promoted the day.
Difference Between Memorial Day and Labor Day
References
  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/096031099332131
  2. https://read.dukeupress.edu/demography/article/20/1/45/171535/Temporal-variations-in-mortality-A-comparison-of-U

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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