Grandparents' Day

National Grandparent's Day
Observed by Various countries
Type National
Date First Sunday after Labor Day (USA)
2013 date Template:Infobox holiday/date
2014 date Template:Infobox holiday/date
2015 date Template:Infobox holiday/date
2016 date Template:Infobox holiday/date
Frequency annual

National Grandparents' Day is a secular holiday celebrated in the United States since 1978 and officially recognized in a number of countries on various days of the year, either as one holiday or sometimes as a separate Grandmothers' Day and Grandfathers' Day (see below for dates by country). One celebrates both paternal and maternal grandparents.


Marian McQuade of Oak Hill, West Virginia, Has been recognized nationally by the United States Senate – in particular by Senators Jennings Randolph;[1] and Robert Byrd – and by President Jimmy Carter, as the founder of National Grandparents Day. McQuade made it her goal to educate the youth in the community about the important contributions seniors have made throughout history. She also urged the youth to "adopt" a grandparent, not just for one day a year, but rather for a lifetime.

In 1973, Senator Jennings Randolph (D-WV) introduced a resolution to the senate to make Grandparents' Day a national holiday. West Virginia's Governor Arch Moore had proclaimed an annual Grandparents' Day for the state, at the urging of Marian McQuade. When Senator Randolph's resolution in the U.S. Senate died in committee, Marian McQuade organized supporters and began contacting governors, senators, and congressmen in all fifty states. She urged each state to proclaim their own Grandparents' Day. Within three years, she had received Grandparents' Day proclamations from forty-three states. She sent copies of the proclamations to Senator Randolph.

In February 1977, Senator Randolph, with the concurrence of many other senators, introduced a joint resolution to the senate requesting the president to "issue annually a proclamation designating the first Sunday of September after Labor Day of each year as 'National Grandparents' Day'." Congress passed the legislation proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents' Day and, on August 3, 1978, then-President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation.[2][3] The statute cites the day's purpose: " honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children, and to help children become aware of strength, information, and guidance older people can offer".

Some people claim[weasel words] the origin of the holiday resides with the efforts of Hermine Beckett Hanna of North Syracuse, New York, recognizing seniors and their importance as early as 1961. On February 21, 1990, New York Congressman James T. Walsh recognized the efforts of Hermine Beckett Hanna in front of the U.S. House of Representatives, thanking her "for her important role in the establishment of Grandparents' Day".[4]

Official song of U.S. Grandparents' Day

"A Song for Grandma and Grandpa"
Sample of "A Song for Grandma and Grandpa", the official song of the U.S. National Grandparents Day holiday.

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In 2004, the National Grandparents' Day Council of Chula Vista, California announced that "A Song for Grandma and Grandpa" by Johnny Prill would be the official song of the U.S. National Grandparents' Day holiday.[5]

The National Grandparents' Day Council presented Prill with the National Songwriter's Award in recognition of his highly popular composition "A Song for Grandma and Grandpa."[5]

The Council announced Prill's award early in order that schools, churches and other groups who wish to perform his song for Grandparents' Day will have time to acquire and rehearse the song.[5] The song was chosen because "Grandparents' Day gives grandchildren across the nation the opportunity to show love and appreciation for their grandparents. Johnny Prill's A Song for Grandma and Grandpa is exemplary of such appreciation."[5]

United States Senator Debbie Stabenow told Prill: "It is wonderful that 'A Song for Grandma and Grandpa' was chosen as the official song of National Grandparents' Day. What a special tribute to your talent as a songwriter. You have put into words the unique relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren."[6]

American folk singer Pete Seeger stated, "Here's to Johnny Prill and his song for National Grandparents' Day. May his song spread around the world and be translated into many languages!"[7]

Official flower of U.S. Grandparents' Day

The official flower of the U.S. National Grandparents Day is the forget-me-not which blooms in the spring. As a result, seasonal flowers are given in appreciation to grandparents on this day.

Grandparents' Day[s] around the world


Queensland was the first Australian state to officially celebrate Grandparents' Day - on the first Sunday in November 2010.[8] A range of community events took place in schools and at sporting events around the state.[9] New South Wales held their first inaugural Grandparents' Day on Sunday 30 October 2011, and will be celebrate it each year on the last Sunday of October. This year's Grandparents' Day is being led by council on the Ageing NSW (COTA NSW). The Australian Capital Territory and Western Australia held their first Grandparents' Day in 2012.


National Grandparents' Day began in Canada in 1995. Motion number 273 submitted in the house of commons by Mr. Sarkis Assadourian read:

That, in the opinion of this House, the government should consider designating the second Sunday in September of each year as Grandparents' Day in order to acknowledge their importance to the structure of the family in the nurturing, upbringing and education of children.[10]


Grandparents' Day (vanavanemate päev) is celebrated, beginning in 2010, on the second Sunday in September.


In France, Grandmothers' Day began in 1987 and is celebrated on the first Sunday in March.


In Germany, Grandmothers' Day was established in 2010 and is celebrated on the second Sunday in October.


In Italy, Grandparents' Day was established in 2005 and is celebrated on October 2, Guardian Angels' Day in the Roman Catholic Church.


In Poland, Grandmother's Day (Polish: Dzień Babci) was created in 1964 by the Kobieta i Życie magazine, and popularized from 1965 onwards. It is celebrated on January 21. Grandfather's Day (Polish: Dzień Dziadka) is celebrated a day later, on January 22.


Singapore started celebrating Grandparents' Day in 1979, a year after the U.S. started.


The Ministry of Education (Republic of China) initiated Grandparents' Day (祖父母節) in Taiwan on 29 August 2010, on the last Sunday in August annually, shortly before schoolchildren would start a new semester.[11]

United Kingdom

The celebration was introduced to the UK in 1990 by the charity Age Concern. It has been celebrated on the first Sunday in October since 2008,[12] although it is not widely advertised and hasn't been as commercially successful as Mother's and Father's Day. Businesses specialising in gifts and greeting cards have started merging the respective grandparents days with Mother's Day and Father's Day to try to boost sales.

United States

National Grandparents' Day in the U.S. is the first Sunday after Labor Day, in September. It falls on September 9, 2012, then September 8, 2013.

The holiday is expected to grow in significance over the next decade and beyond as the number of grandparents in the United States rises from 65 million in 2011 to 80 million in 2020[13] as a result of the baby boom. Grandparents in America are also increasingly responsible for child care and support. In 2012, 30% of children under five with working mothers were cared for on a regular basis by a grandparent.[14]

2013 saw increased exposure for the holiday, with the greatest public engagement and press coverage of Grandparents Day in its 35 year history. This effort was led primarily by the advocacy organization Caring Across Generations, which mobilized celebrities and others to celebrate the holiday online as well as in local actions in 13 different cities around the United States.


External links

  • National Grandparents Day Council official page (U.S.)
  • Official song of U.S. National Grandparents Day
  • U.S. Code § 125, the law establishing the U.S. National Grandparents Day
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