International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Labor Day: Recipes and Traditions

Labor Day at the beach

Image by Vijay Kalakoti

Labor Day is an American holiday that traditionally marks the last weekend of the summer. Vacations have ended and the kids are going back to school, and Labor Day is a final chance to get out and enjoy a picnic or a barbecue with family and friends.

Most countries celebrate Labor Day on May 1, and celebrations are centered on parades and demonstrations. The American version of the holiday also originated as a “working man’s” holiday, and was made a national holiday in 1894. But Labor Day in the United States is a more low-key affair, with rest and relaxation taking much more prominence.

Picnic and barbecue dishes are great for Labor Day. Old standards are fried chicken, hamburgers, corn dogs, coleslaw, potato salad, lemonade, corn on the cob, baked beans and sliced tomatoes. Finish up with sliced watermelon, apple pie and freshly churned ice cream.

If you’re a traditionalist, put away your white shoes and straw hats when the day is done. It was once a fashion faux pas to wear them after Labor Day.

Labor Day Recipes

Try these recipes for Labor Day.

Corn Dogs

Corn Dogs (American hot dog and cornbread on a stick)

(American hot dog and cornbread on a stick)


Shashlik (Central Asian grilled skewered lamb)

(Central Asian grilled skewered lamb)


Cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato and onion

(American grilled beef patty sandwiches)


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