When and Why Do We Need To Celebrate National Family Day?
Actor-comedian George Burns had the right idea when he said, “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family.” Indeed, our family plays a huge role in our quality of life and how happy we are as people.
Whether it’s the families we were born into or close friends who feel like family—this group of people holds a special place in our hearts. That’s why it’s important to celebrate National Family Day.
In this article, let’s ruminate on the importance of families, including why and how we should celebrate them.
- When Is National Family Day?
- What Is the History Behind National Family Day?
- What Can You Do On National Family Day?
- What Else Family Holidays Do We Have in the US?
When Is National Family Day?
National Family Day is observed on September 26 in the United States. This is a day when families spend time together and enjoy each other’s company.
It’s an event intended to celebrate the special bonds that bind loved ones together by indulging in fun and unique activities. Be it a traditional meal, a movie marathon, or an afternoon of board games, National Family Day lets us appreciate our special kinship with them.
Family can drive us crazy at times, but no one else will be there for us like our family. National Family Day honors this bond by being a celebration of togetherness among young children and adults.
Where Is It Celebrated?
The importance of families is more than an American regional concept. People across the world acknowledge their value. National Family Day is a public holiday for South Africa, Israel, Paraguay, Japan, Vietnam, Australia, and many more countries!
So, people get at least one day from work annually to rest and enjoy the day with their loved ones.
Why Do We Celebrate National Family Day?
Families are indispensable aspects of society and human life. Typically, family refers to biologically related individuals such as parents, grandparents, children, siblings, and cousins. The term is also used to refer to spouses and in-laws.
The nuclear family unit consisting of parents and their children is the most common type of family in the Western world. Other cultures tend to have a broader involvement, whereby extended families also share a single household. In such cultures, the younger members are also expected to care for their older relatives and elderly parents.
Over time, the definition of family has evolved. It no longer only includes people who share a home or are biologically related. Non-traditional families, extended clans, and close-knit friend groups are becoming increasingly popular family units. Considered “chosen family,” these consist of individuals who are not related by blood but offer much-needed love and support to each other.
In the late 19th century, the family unit began to be a subject of scientific study. Around the 1960s, it became a specific field in sociology. Social scientists began studying how individual behavior is shaped by family, and how family structures are impacted by geography and culture.
As years passed, globalization, industrialization, and the development of modern transport and communication resulted in an evolutionary change in family relations.
All these aspects are studied in relation to family because psychologists believe that family ties are extremely critical for individuals to develop in a healthy manner.
The quality of familial relationships can significantly impact each member’s well-being. This is because families act as support systems during stressful times, help people process trauma, and boost their self-esteem.
Because of this, the family is an important socio-psychological structure. It is essential for people’s mental, physical, and emotional development and well-being.
This is why we devote a day to appreciating our families, celebrating our bonds, and engaging with the people most important to us on National Family Day.
What Is the History Behind National Family Day?
National Family Day was founded organically across the world, with no specific month or date that is universally acknowledged. Different countries celebrate it on different days, and they each have their own reasons for doing so.
In Australia, National Family and Community Day was first celebrated on the first Tuesday of November, between 2007 to 2009. This was because it coincided with the Melbourne Cup.
Between 2010 to 2016, it was celebrated on the first or second Monday of the September/October school holidays. As of 2018, Family Day has been renamed Reconciliation Day and is celebrated on the first Monday on or after the 27th of May.
Angola and Uruguay celebrate Family Day on December 25, while Vanuatu celebrates Boxing Day or December 26 as Family Day. In Vietnam, June 28 was established as Family Day as of 2001.
In South Africa, Easter has been renamed “Family Day.” Israel has been celebrating the last day of Shevat as Family Day since 1990.
Canada lacks a federally established Family Day, however, the concept is still celebrated across different territories (with different names) on the third Monday of February. This is so Canadians have an extra day off between New Year’s Day and Good Friday.
Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Saskatchewan celebrate the occasion as Family Day, while Prince Edward Island refers to it as “Islander Day.” On the other hand, people in the Manitoba province refer to the day as “Louis Riel Day.”
Alberta was the first province to celebrate the holiday in 1990, after which other regions joined in.
Though it isn’t an officially recognized global holiday, families continue to celebrate it across the world during different events and festivals.
What Can You Do On National Family Day?
National Family Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the uniqueness of your family and your bond with them in a fun, interesting, and meaningful way. It can be used to strengthen relationships and create memories that you’ll cherish for years to come.
There is no one-size-fits-all for celebrating this day. There are many ways to celebrate the occasion depending on what you enjoy and the resources available to you. Here are some ideas:
- A day picnic to a special spot or a new one that you go to only for National Family Day picnics.
- A camping or hiking trip if you’re an outdoorsy family.
- A road trip if you enjoy exploring new places.
- A fancy meal in a restaurant if you’re a family full of foodies.
- A spa day to pamper yourselves and unwind together.
- Joining a fun workshop together.
- Playing board games.
- Watching a movie together.
- Cooking a meal and enjoying it together.
- Making arts and crafts together.
- Sitting around and sharing your favorite memories or qualities about each other.
- Exchanging small, meaningful gifts.
- Watching home videos.
Regardless of the activity you pick, National Family Day traditions can help you consciously honor your family and appreciate each other — something that we may not often do.
What Else Family Holidays Do We Have in the US?
National Family Holiday is just one of many days you can spend with loved ones. Here are other holidays that you can enjoy surrounded by your favorite people:
- Global Family Day—January 1.
- Play Outside Day—January 1.
- National Sunday Supper Day—January 8.
- Grandma’s Day—January 21.
- Grandpa’s Day—January 22.
- National Spouse’s Day—January 26.
- National Plan For Vacation Day—January 31.
- National Bake For Family Fun Day—February 1.
- National Kite Flying Day—February 8.
- Hug Day—February 12.
- Read To Your Child Day—February 14.
- Letter To An Elder Day—February 26.
- Carnival Day—February 26.
- Tell A Fairytale Day—February 26.
- National Son’s Day—March 4.
- Forgive Mom and Dad Day—March 18.
- National Love Our Children Day—April 1.
- National Siblings Day—April 10.
- National Brother And Sister’s Day—May 2.
- National Mother’s Day—May 14.
- Father’s Day—June 18.
- National Cousins Day—July 24.
- National Aunt and Uncle Day—July 26.
- National Sister’s Day—August 6.
- Grandparent’s Day—September 11.
- National Daughter’s Day—September 25.
- National Take Your Parents To Lunch Day—October 12.
When celebrating National Family Day, don’t worry too much about making things extravagant and having everything planned out. Just focus on what matters: your family and the memories you’ll make together.
To make things extra special, you can also have a specific theme, such as having same-colored shirts. Also, make sure to take some family pictures to add to your National Family Day celebration album!
The picture on the front page: Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock.com
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