Grandparents' Day

Next Sunday, 6 October 2024

National Grandparents Day is an annual celebration on the first Sunday in October. Although celebrated by many people throughout the country it is not a public holiday. Most businesses will continue to follow Sunday working hours.

The celebration is on a different day in other parts of the world, in the USA, Canada, and India it is the Sunday after Labor Day. In non-English speaking countries, it also varies;  for example in Portugal, it is in July (in Portuguese: Dia dos avós). 


National Grandparents Day was first celebrated in America, and it came about due to the efforts of two people:

Jacob Reingold

In 1961, Jacob Reingold, the executive vice president of Hebrew Home of Riverdale (a care home for older adults), attended a conference on aging in the White House. Driven by what he heard, he sought to do something to honor all grandparents: a special day. This was first celebrated in the Hebrew Home in September 1961. On January 27, 1987, Mario Biaggi, a member of The House of Representatives, remarked for the record a "Tribute to Jacob Reingold, pioneer in efforts to gain national recognition for grandparents". 

Marian McQuade

Marian McQuade's concern about the number of lonely and isolated grandparents in homes motivated her to start a campaign in 1970 for a special day for them. She wanted their families and community members to benefit from their care and wisdom. She gained the support of local leaders.

Handwritten message in crayon saying ‘happy grandparents day’ covered in doodles

National Recognition 

The very first Grandparents Day celebration in Jacob Reingold's Hebrew Home of Riverdale involved activities such as "a picnic and carnival, complete with ponies and merry-go-rounds and games and prizes." (recorded in Congress). In 1961 about 3500 people attended the first Grandparents Days events in this Home, two years later, in 1963, 5000 people attended.  

In 1973, the Governor of West Virginia, Arch Moore, declared Grandparents Day a statewide holiday. With determination, the campaign reached Congress, and in 1978 a bill was passed. On September 6, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a proclamation declaring the first Sunday after Labor Day Grandparents Day.

President Carter's proclamation explained why this day is so important:

I urge each citizen to pause and to reflect on the influence his grandparents have had in shaping his own destiny, and on the legacy bestowed upon our contemporary society by his grandparents' generation.

Grandparents give us a connection to the past, to the events and beliefs, and experiences that so strongly affect our lives and the world around us. Whether they are our own, or surrogate grandparents who fill some of the gaps in our evolving society, our senior generation provides society with a link to its national heritage and traditions. 

Grandparents day

International recognition

The date has grown internationally since 1977, in 1995 the Canadian Government approved the Bill read by Sarkis Assadourian to recognize the second Sunday in September as Grandparents Day, a day to honor Grandparents.

The idea of dedicating a day to grandparents took off in popularity and is now celebrated in The UK and across other nations in Europe too.  

Ideas for Celebrating

Grandparents Day is about spending time with family and acknowledging what we can gain from grandparents, such as an understanding of our history, wisdom, and guidance. Schools, nursing homes, etc. arrange fun and exciting events for families to visit. Families can also make personalized gifts and cards to show how much they cherish their grandparents.

Social Awareness

One important purpose of Grandparents Day is to raise awareness of grandparents' role in modern society, and raising awareness can take many forms. People will be sharing the hashtag #DoSomethingGrand and others will be swapping their profile pictures for images of their grandparents. You could also share a story of your grandparents with your friends and family to help people see just how much your grandma or grandpa is appreciated. 

Facts about Grandparents

  • Being a grandparent is good for you! Studies have shown that grandparents who are involved in their grandchildren's lives experience physical and mental health benefits. Spending time with grandchildren can provide joy, a sense of purpose, and opportunities for physical activity.
  • Having Grandparents is also good for you! Grandparents can provide emotional support, stability, and a sense of identity and belonging, all of this has a positive effect on a person's well-being.
  • Grandparents possess a wealth of knowledge and life experience that they can share with younger generations. They pass on family traditions, cultural heritage, and practical skills, contributing to the preservation of family history.

Grandparents' Day
Grandparents' Day

Grandparents' Day 2024

Date: Sunday, 05 October 2025

Date: Sunday, 04 October 2026

Date: Sunday, 03 October 2027

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