National Siblings Day is on its way, so let’s look at the history of the holiday and how people celebrate it in different countries.
Our team here at Remitly put together our best tips for celebrating Siblings Day in 2023 with your family, and we’re excited to share them with you.
When is National Siblings Day?
National Siblings Day is April 10, and in 2023, it falls on a Monday—so you might want to celebrate the weekend before.
You may see this holiday called different names. People sometimes call it International Siblings Day, World Siblings Day, or Siblings Day. Regardless of its name, the holiday is all about showing your brothers and sisters how much they mean to you.
History of National Siblings Day
In 1995, Claudia Evart created the Siblings Day Foundation as a tribute to her siblings Alan and Lisette, who died at a young age. Evart founded the organization to recognize and honor the bonds between siblings. The efforts to launch National Siblings Day grew out of that mission.
The Siblings Day Foundation lobbied leaders in the U.S., encouraging them to recognize this special holiday. April 10 became the official proposed date because it was Lisette’s birthday.
In 2000, Bill Clinton signed a presidential message honoring the occasion. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama followed suit in 2008 and 2016.
In addition, governors in 49 states have adopted National Siblings Day as a holiday through Gubernatorial Proclamations. California is the only state yet to sign on.
The bond between siblings
National Siblings Day has spread quickly over the last three decades. Part of what has made the efforts to launch the holiday so successful is that people with siblings understand how important brothers and sisters are in our lives.
Your siblings are often your first friends. You played, learned, and grew up together. You learned important skills like sharing, empathy, teamwork, and compromise by resolving conflicts.
During difficult times, siblings support and take care of each other. One study found that strong sibling relationships can reduce the effects of stress and anxiety in children dealing with adversity at home.
Siblings are also safe people to confide in about problems during childhood and adolescence. This connectedness can ease feelings of isolation and improve overall mental health.
Research also shows that the bonds formed between siblings as children benefit us into adulthood. Adults with strong bonds with siblings as children may be more likely to have healthy relationships and less prone to developing depression or abusing drugs.
Support from siblings can motivate us to strive for our goals. One study revealed that siblings were just as influential in encouraging university students to take their studies seriously as their parents were.
As parents age, siblings can pull together to provide care. They can also lean on each other following the death of their parents and other family members.
Siblings Day celebrations around the world
International Siblings Day celebrations take place at various times throughout the year. Read on to learn more about World Siblings Day celebrations.
International Siblings Day
Fourteen countries celebrate International Siblings Day on April 10:
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
Siblings Day isn’t an official holiday in any of these countries. National and local governments may issue proclamations to honor the day, but individuals often choose to celebrate with their brothers and sisters.
On Siblings Day, nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses may post on social media to mark the occasion. Some companies offer deals or discounts for siblings who shop, dine, see a movie, or do another activity together.
In India, Raksha Bandhan is a holiday similar to Siblings Day. “Raksha Bandhan” translates to “the bond of protection, obligation, or care.”
Also known as Rakshabandhan, the holiday falls on the last full moon day in Shravana, according to the Hindu calendar. The 2023 date for Raksha Bandhan is Wednesday, August 30.
Raksha Bandhan centers around tying thread on the wrist as protection. Sisters tie a thread, called the rakhi, around their brother’s wrists.
Brothers and Sisters Day
On September 18, 2014, the European Large Families Confederation (ELFAC) voted to establish Brothers and Sisters Day. Like World Siblings Day, the holiday is a time to say thank you and show love to siblings. In addition, ELFAC seeks to raise awareness about the importance of sibling relationships through celebrations.
Brothers and Sisters Day falls on May 31 of every year. In 2023, Siblings Day holiday is on a Wednesday.
So far, Brothers and Sisters Day celebrations are only in these European countires:
- Czech Republic
None of these countries have adopted Brothers and Sisters Day as a National holiday. However, some national governments have formally recognized it through proclamations. For example, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa of Portugal made public declarations about the holiday in 2016 and 2017.
How to celebrate National Siblings Day 2023
There are many ways to say Happy National Siblings Day to your brothers and sisters next year. Let these celebration ideas inspire your plans.
Say Happy National Siblings Day with a card.
Getting your thoughts and feelings in writing can be a powerful way to express love for your siblings. Look online for cards designed specifically for the occasion, or create your own. Some online stores that offer custom greeting cards include:
Don’t be afraid to make a DIY card. Make a collage of favorite photos of you and your siblings. Draw or paint a picture, or search a site like Allpoetry or Poetry Foundation for a poem to write on the front.
Remember that cards don’t have to be on paper. You can also send an e-card from American Greetings, Blue Mountain, or Hallmark.
Give to others to mark World Siblings Day
Make this Siblings Day meaningful by doing volunteer work with your siblings. You’ll feel great using your time and talents to help others and build memories to last a lifetime.
Choose a volunteer opportunity that appeals to all of you. You can search for causes and organizations to help on sites such as:
Check your town’s official website for additional opportunities.
If you don’t live in the same place as your siblings, you can still each spend the day volunteering your time.
At the end of the day, call each other and share your experiences. Make it a party by buying goodies to snack on while you talk.
Plan a fun siblings day activity
If you live close to your siblings, spend the day together doing something fun. You could:
- Take a class
- Eat at a restaurant
- See a movie
- Head out for a hike
- Go dancing
- Attend a play or concert
- Cook something together
- Play a sport like tennis, pickleball, basketball, or even mini golf
- Hit the bowling alley
- Play board games
- Roller skate or ice skate
- Check out a local tourist attraction
- Picnic at the park
If you don’t live near each other, plan a virtual activity. You could play a video game or have a watch party for your favorite show.
Do something special for your siblings
There are plenty of opportunities to do something kind for your siblings. Some meaningful gestures include:
- Preparing meals for them to eat throughout the coming week
- Helping them tackle a project or complete a task around the house
- Watching their children or pets so they can have a break
- Completing a household chore like laundry
- Mowing their lawn
- Sending groceries or surprise takeout
- Putting together a video or slideshow with favorite memories
- Writing a poem or song about your siblings
Get creative and look for other ways to show how much they mean to you.
Send money to your siblings abroad
If you live abroad, it might be challenging to spend World Siblings Day together—but a special gesture may help you feel closer.
Sending gifts can be expensive, depending on the size of the presents and the distance they need to travel. Presents may also be subject to taxes and import duties that add unexpected expenses.
Because of the challenges posed by shipping goods internationally, many people send money through Remitly instead. As Catherin Mateo of Nottingham, UK, explains, “I send money to my family in the Philippines to support my sister’s dream of becoming a doctor. Many thanks to Remitly for helping me send the money I work hard for reach my loved ones conveniently and safely.”
Sending money with Remitly allows you to stay connected from a distance. And, with our Perfect Delivery Promise and real-time tracking, they’ll know your gift is on the way. Download the app and give it a try in time for National Siblings Day 2023.