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Happy International Day Of Families!

Updated: July 15, 2022 | Published: May 15, 2020

Updated: July 15, 2022

Published: May 15, 2020


There’s Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, even Children’s Day in some countries around the world. But what about a Family Day — a day where we can celebrate and appreciate all members of the family in one wonderful day?

Well, there is a day for that, too, and it’s called International Day of Families. It’s held May 15th every year, and is a great way to celebrate our own families and families around the world. Happy International Day of Families!

What Is International Day Of Families?

International Day of Families, or International Family Day, is a global observance that’s celebrated each year on May 15th. While it’s not a public holiday, the day celebrates the importance of families, people, society, and cultures around the world. Its aim is to raise awareness of issues relating to families across the globe, while giving attention to the fact that families are the basic unit of a society.

On this day, we must recognize that some families are facing hardships, while also being grateful for our own families. This day can be what you make of it. It’s a day to celebrate your family and acknowledge what your family means to you.

Some things we can see on or leading up to International Day of Families each year are awareness-raising events, broadcasts, media reports, and national family days.

For example, many families play a role in their children’s education, even as they get older. UoPeople is here to celebrate you and your family as you work towards your degree and a rewarding career.

Two children playing in water
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

The Background Of International Day Of Families

If International Day of Families sounds new to you, this day has actually been around for some time.

The United Nations started this work in 1994 and named it the “International Year of Families.” To celebrate the start of this initiative and to keep it going, International Day of Families was created as a global observance beginning the year after that, in 1995. It’s been celebrated every year on May 15th since then.

One reason the UN began the International Day of Families is because families and their needs and challenges continue to change dramatically over time, and as a society, we need to do better to acknowledge these issues as they come, and remember that our families are instrumental to a thriving community.

Despite the transformation of families due to global trends and demographic changes, families are still the cornerstone of society. No two families are the same, and families who are more privileged than others can do their part this holiday to learn about issues facing other families. Each year, the UN chooses a different theme for International Families Day that has to do with this.

For 2020, the International Day of Families’ theme is: “Families in Development: Copenhagen & Beijing + 25.” 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the Copenhagen Declaration and the Beijing Platform for Action — both important UN mandates that have been pushing forward human rights around the world.

“The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic brings into sharp focus the importance of investing in social policies protecting the most vulnerable individuals and families. It is the families who bear the brunt of the crisis, sheltering their members from harm, caring for out of school children and at the same time continuing their work responsibilities,” the United Nations explains.

The UN will be holding an online webinar this year in celebration of International Day of Families 2020.

What Are The Symbols Of International Day Of Families?

National family day has a lot of interesting components, one of them being a symbol or a logo. The official symbol of International Day of Families is a green circle, and in the middle of that circle there is a red drawing that looks like a heart beneath a roof. This is to symbolize that family is the center of society and a stable and loving home is pivotal to everything else we do.

Of course, nowadays, there are many other images that have been created as a symbol for International Day of Families.

Why International Day Of Families Is Important

International Day of Families is important for several reasons. Not only does it raise awareness about issues impacting families globally, it reminds us how crucial family is to society. Without family, many of us would not be where we are today.

Family raises us in our formative years until we become adults. While not every family is perfect and there are certainly people who do not have good relationships with their families, you can use this day to celebrate whomever it is in your life that you consider “family” — even if they may not be blood relatives.

1. It Highlights The Role Of Family In Society

International Day of Families highlights the importance of families in society. Because families are at the core of a society, by promoting stronger families, we can also strengthen our communities long-term. By supporting members of our families to be the best version of themselves they can be, we can come together to support other families who need help and continue to work together to create a better world.

2. It Reminds Us That All Families Look Different

While International Day of Families is an opportunity to celebrate our own families, it also reminds us that all families are different. Families come in all different “shapes”, sizes, and colors. There’s no definition for people you love. It doesn’t matter what your family looks like, as long as it’s yours!

3. It’s A Chance To Have Challenging Conversations

Another important aspect of International Day of Families is that this day gives us an opportunity to discuss difficult topics that are facing families around the world today. Some of the biggest struggles that families have to deal with range from poverty and domestic violence, to hunger, access to healthcare, and the overall challenges of raising children.

This May 15th, do some research and talk to your neighbors to find out what some of the struggles they’re currently facing, and see if you can help.

Mother and father walking with child through a field
Image by Denise Husted from Pixabay

What People Do On International Day Of Families

So, what are some ways you can celebrate International Day of Families? Well, there’s no wrong or right way. This day can be whatever you and your family make of it, but we have some suggestions to help you get started.

1. Spend Time With Your Family

  • Volunteer with your family
  • Play a game with your family
  • Read a book with your family
  • Look at photo albums of your family
  • Organize a community family picnic
  • Visit gravesites of family members who have passed away

2. Reflect On What Family Means To You

  • Think about what you love about your family
  • Get to know other families

3. Show Appreciation Towards Your Family

  • Visit your family if you live close
  • Call your family if you live far away
  • Post a picture on social media and tag #InternationalFamiliesDay

The Critical Roles Of Family In Society

One of the main focal points of International Day of Families on May 15th is to shed light on the crucial roles of family in society. One of the hardships that families face the most around the world is poverty, which inevitably leads to other hardships.

Families are able to bring so much into this world, but poverty can often get in the way of a family’s full potential to bring a positive influence on their community. Poverty can seep into all aspects of life, presenting a cycle of other challenges, for generations to come. It can make a family unstable or insecure, lead to risky behaviors among individual family members, minimize a family’s accessibility to resources, and break apart the family unit. When the family unit breaks down, communities and societies can break down, too.

But, because of global observances like International Day of Families and the initiatives that come with it, organizations are finding ways to help families through poverty. This is done through workshops, education, hygiene and sanitation classes, family planning services, literacy guidance, disease awareness and prevention courses, etc. However, it doesn’t take much to make a difference or to celebrate your own family.

There are many ways to celebrate your own family and show your love for them. One way to celebrate International Day of Families is to make your family proud by earning your degree. UoPeople is a tuition-free university where you can earn your degree entirely online — so that you can spend more time with your own family while you study.