Labor Day in Marshall Islands
Labor Day is a public holiday in the Marshall Islands that’s celebrated on the first Friday in September and honors the workers that keep society running. Also known as Rijerbal Day (Worker’s Day), this day is a public holiday on which non-essential government offices are closed, as are schools and many businesses.
Although this day is a public holiday, there aren’t a whole lot of official ceremonies that occur on this day. It’s mainly a day where there are a few political speeches or ceremonies, but not much else is going on. It is a day off for the general population, however, so they can use it as a rest day.
The History Of Labor Day In The Marshall Islands
Traditionally, there have been three social classes in the Marshall Islands. There has been the chief (iroij), the elder or owner of the land (alap), and the workers (rijerbal). These three classes had different roles in the society and therefore there were different land use rights among the three classes.
In 2007, the Marshall Islands joined the International Labor Organization and that has changed land use and work allotment on the islands. Labor Day was created to honor the workers who contribute to the continued economic health of the islands.
Observing Labor Day In The Marshall Islands
On this holiday, many of the observances are made at the local level by different cities and towns. These observances usually include speeches by civic leaders and honoring certain workers.
Other than that, there aren’t a whole lot of other events observed. Workers do use this day, however, to spend time with their friends and family members. They also use it as a general day off just to relax.