Labor Day – How to celebrate if you are abroad

It’s coming up September 7th and you don’t want to miss it: Labor Day. Labor Day is our day to celebrate the strength of our labor and trade organizations, and in this economy, they can use all the bolstering and celebration we’ve got. Also, for Americans, Labor Day symbolizes the end of summer — and for some, the end of wearing white.

(I just try not to wear white shoes after Labor Day. The rest is too hard.)

If you’re abroad, you don’t have to skip Labor Day. There are perfectly good ways to celebrate, wherever you are. First of all, of course, you’re going to need some American food. Perhaps you don’t cook, but if you do, check out some of the apple pie recipes here — you can get the ingredients for apple pie almost anywhere, and what could be more American than that?

Of course, you can also hit up McDonald’s, Subway, or any other uber-American establishment as a way to celebrate — sure, it might not be the best for your health, but it’s easy on the wallet and a good way to honor America’s astonishing legacy of food service — and a number of labor/trade jobs that contribute to that legacy.

Another way to celebrate? Wearing the ol’ red, white and blue. Perhaps you have a little flag lapel pin knocking around somewhere or can pick one up at a local market — this is a good day to wear that pin. It may even help you recognize other expats!

Showing your patriotism works as a way to celebrate almost any American holiday, but for Labor Day in particular? Another thing you can do is take a look at the labor industries in the country you’re in. Check out the awesome old-school skills like blacksmithing, agriculture and even shopkeeping. Tell the workers you appreciate what they’re doing and that in America, we’re honoring them today (September 7th, that is).

And, perhaps most importantly, take the day off. What do Americans do on Labor Day? They don’t labor. Particularly if you are in a laboring profession yourself, this is your day to relax. Have a BBQ and some American beer, go to an American movie, and tell your boss that — sorry — this is your day to chillax. Represent!

Be sure to bring in some of that apple pie the next day, though.