The real purpose of a family day is to show the importance of family life in our deteriorating society. You might think that family life has seen its decline because of the rising levels of divorce. But it has also seen its increases because of new family models seen in same-sex mirages single parenthood and cohabiting arrangements. These families may not be recognized in many countries legally, but are part of a family culture that is thriving today.
Family day is celebrated as a public holiday in a number of counties today. South Africa, Angola, Israel, Uruguay, Vanuatu, and Vietnam are some of the countries that have the pleasure of celebrating the day, this includes some states in the US (Arizona and Nevada), some provinces in Canada (Alberta, British Colombia, Ontario, Saskatchewan and maybe New Brunswick and Nova Scotia) and the Australian Capital territory. The day is celebrated as the second day of Songkran in Thailand. Though some countries may celebrate related holidays for families they do not have this day as public holidays, the British and Canadians Celebrate a weeklong event that is sponsored by Comitial businesses and Government Tax money respectively From the 25th to the 31st August. It is on the 15th of April for Canada, the 7th of August for the U.S., and on Easter Monday for South Africa.
Why celebrate the day anyway?
As I have said before this is meant to reinforce the need and intensify family life and constructs in our society. It seems not the whole world does not share the same sentiments when it comes to family. If that was the case, wouldn’t the whole world have the day as a public holiday?
Is the day necessary?
Well, is any public holiday needed? It is fascinating to think of how each and holiday becomes law. Like any law in any country. In the US a certain John Makkai is credited as the citizen who pushed Family day through the Arizona Legislation. The day began as a one-year proclamation signed by Governor Raul Hector Castro, declaring the 7th of August as the American Family Day. It was signed into law the following year By Governor Bruce Babbitt. Some states like North Carolina and Georgia have caught on the day as a holiday.
The question is what about the rest of the world for such an important day, like this one?
What do we celebrate on Family day?
Families around the world find themselves not spending as much time together due to work and life. This is questionable, in the past families were brought closer together by these activities. At the end of any day, a family would come even closer at the dinner table, sharing their day’s experiences in thanksgiving. Family members world would support each other by giving advice and wisdom on how best to have tackled the day.
These days there is not family time at the table. Even when there is time we are all drawn apart by technology that has infiltrated our family lives.
Is it still Family day?
I was not surprised when I realize the day had already passed in my Country and I had made no efforts in celebrating the day. The reason being that it has not been so long that we had the day as a holiday, for that matter the day has always been a holiday a while longer than the day it was changed to Family Day in 1995.
As South Africans we used to celebrate Easter Monday at the end of Holy Week, the day was changed to Family Day in 1995. So what has happened to Easter Monday? It is hard to make that connection with the new holiday. Meaning that we hardly celebrated the day as we might still be celebrating Easter Monday on Family day. I am not sure if I forgot to celebrate the day due to the pandemic or what? I cannot really recall ever celebrating the day. I will try my best to recognize Family Day On Easter Monday next year.
A family is a unit and we have neglected this unit.
When we celebrate one member of o a unit it is easy to remember as we all carry the responsibility on an individual in our life, say Moms for Mother’s day; Dads for Father’s day, and a family member on a Birthday. We are all responsible to our loved ones for the day. Who is responsible for our Families on Family day? You may say parents are the most responsible for that day, but is that true? Each and every member of the family is an integral part of the family hence we all carry the same responsibility.
I would say I am to blame for not celebrating the day or is it my wife or the children. On any given holiday there is an effort to even say Happy Birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s day; Happy New Year, and Merry Christmas. I did not hear even one attempt of Happy Family day on the day. Why is that? Have we forgotten to celebrate ourselves as a family?
I have turned a new leaf and will make a better effort in Celebrating this worthwhile day, for Family In our ever-changing Family climate where families come in all shapes and sizes. Remember that there are infinite variations of what this family can be. There is absolutely no reason why we should neglect the day and not cherish who we are as a Family Unit.
Here are some ideas on how to celebrate:
- Share a meal/feast as you would on any given day.
- Take a break from work, school, and be a family for the day.
- Take a day Vacation.
- Go out as a Family.
- Buy a gift for the whole family – something that will bring all members together.
Easier said than done!
The United Kingdom does not have the day a public holiday but they have made a week’s event. This is an annual event that is celebrated on the 25th of August till the 31st of August called the National Family Week. It consists of a thousand local events organized through the UK involving local authority’ sports clubs and religious organizations. The Government endorses the day but sponsorship comes from commercial sponsorship.
I Challenge all families to a – Family Challenge.
I call on all families of the world to celebrate this wonderful unit called families. Not only for the holiday that has been set aside, but to make every day a Family Day, Take a break from Television and Cell phones and tablets. The stronger this unit is the stronger is the nation. When we do not celebrate this union we make way for great failure that will plague our progress and humanity.
Yes, life tends to take over and we forget our responsibilities as members of the family. Work takes over even responsibilities to Family take over that we forget to enjoy what families are meant to give. You take care of the cleanliness of our homes preparing food and driving your children everywhere till you forget the reason for doing all that! It is not a job but it is done out of love for every member of your family.
Take time to show care to each other. We are all in line to be celebrated so do not just wait to be celebrated and share the love. Think of the day like Christmas Day, Valentine’s Day, Mothers’ day and Father’s Day, and anniversary, all in one day. This should be the best of all holidays it is the day to celebrate us as a Unit.
Someone may think they are not part of a Family, remember families come in all shapes and sizes. I have my Biological Family, My Work-Family, My Crew, and My Friends, My Students, and My Community the list is endless.
Find your own and share your life with them. Make your family realize that it is worthy to be celebrated as it is irreplaceable and nothing is greater than this Unit called a family. We are all part of this one Family called Humanity so let us cherish it.
Happy Family Day, World.