Happy National Siblings Day!
In the United States, around 80 percent of people have siblings – brothers and/or sisters. To honor them, the national Siblings Day holiday was born from the heart of Claudia Evart as a way to honor the memory of her own sister and brother, both of whom died at a young age.
In 1997, the Siblings Day Foundation was incorporated, and it achieved non-profit status in 1999. Carolyn Maloney who was then the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, officially saluted the National Siblings Day holiday by introducing it into the official Congressional Record of the United States Congress on April 10, 1997. It stuck and now every April 10, brother and sisters celebrate that special siblings relationship.
In Europe, the holiday was launched in 2014 by the European Large Families Confederation (ELFAC) to celebrate sibling bonds and relationships. The holiday is celebrated in Europe on May 31 as a feast with the celebration spreading in different ways in the European countries where ELFAC is present. In Portugal, Dia dos Irmãos as the holiday is known, has become very popular and the President of Republic of Portugal has acknowledged it publicly.
ELFAC has associate members in several European countries: Austria, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, and Switzerland. But adherence to the date and spirit of May 31 is open to any other European or non-European country.
Unlike Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Siblings Day is not federally recognized in the United States, though the Siblings Day Foundation is working to change this. Since 1998, the governors of 49 states have officially issued proclamations to recognize Siblings Day in their state.
Siblings Days are celebrated also in the United Kingdom and Australia. In India, the Hindu holiday of Raksha Bandhan celebrates this bond between brothers and sisters.