This is a secular holiday which had started in the United States in the year 1978 and in recent times is celebrated in quite a few numbers of countries all around the world.
This is a day to honor one’s grandparents and shower them with love and importance. Observed in the US on the first Sunday of September right after Labor Day, this day holds a very special place in the hearts of all grandparents. Different countries observe this day on different dates but the essence remains the same.
Every year on this day, the US witnesses almost four million greeting cards being posted to grandparents. This day grants the perfect opportunity for the grandchildren to express their love and care for their grandparents through actions like inviting them for dinner or giving them gifts.
In spite of not being a public holiday in the US, this day is celebrated by all near and far.
There are quite a few background tales about the origin of this festival. One of them says that it was first initiated by Michael Goldgar in the 1970’s following his visit to the Atlanta Nursing home to see his ailing aunt. Another says that Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade who was a housewife in West Virginia was the main driving force behind this day being observed. In either of the cases, this day was lawfully signed and officially accepted by President Jimmy Carter in the year 1978. A presidential declaration went out on the 6th of September, 1979, which proclaimed the 9th of September, 1979, (the first Sunday after Labor Day) as the First Grandparent’s Day and it’s been followed likewise ever since. Each year, whoever is the current president, issues a proclamation to assign the first Sunday of September to be observed as Grandparent’s Day.
The official flower for this day in the US is the forget-me-nots which bloom in the spring season. There is a song too in the US designated especially to this day. In the year 2004, “A Song for Grandma and Grandpa” by Johnny Prill was announced as the official song dedicated to this day.
On this day, people in the US give gifts or cards to wish their grandparents. Grandchildren who stay far away call them up to convey their wishes. Grandparents are invited to schools where their grandchildren participate in special programs and stage performances for them. Grandparent care centers also allow interested people to adopt them on this day for a day out so that they can have a happy and memorable time. Many students participate in story telling sessions where they speak about their grandparents. Grandparents are invited for lunch or dinner and it serves for a happy family reunion.
Dates In Other Countries
- France – Here, Grandparent’s Day is celebrated on the 1st Sunday of March.
- Germany and Hong Kong – This holiday is observed on the second Sunday of October here.
- Italy – 2nd of October is the official date for this holiday.
- Mexico – 28th of August is the chosen date.
- Poland – This country witnesses Grandparent’s Day on the 21st of January.
- Taiwan – This day is celebrated on the last Sunday of August every year.
- Australia – The last Sunday of October is designated as the official Grandparent’s Day.
- United Kingdom – Here, this holiday is being celebrated on the first Sunday of October since 2008.