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Join in on the fun and celebrate a core unit of every society: the family! Even though families may be complex and diverse, they are still vitally important. Whether a family is defined as a group of people that a person is born into or it is something acquired along the way, International Family Day is here to recognize the importance of having a “tribe” of people to walk with through the world! 

History of International Family Day

International Family Day, which is also sometimes referred to as International Day of Families, is an observance that was initiated by the United Nations General Assembly (UN-GA) in 1993. The first celebration of the day took place in 1994.

The United Nations declared that the purpose of establishing this day about families was to promote awareness of the issues that surround families, as well as to increase the knowledge of the processes that affect families, including social, demographic and economic factors.

Each year, the United Nations declares a theme to go along with the celebration of International Family Day. These themes are meant to align with and raise awareness for the various issues, problems and situations that families throughout the world are facing.

Some of the past themes for International Family Day have included:

  • 2022 — Families and Urbanization
  • 2021 — Families and New Technologies
  • 2020 — Families in Development
  • 2019 — Families and Climate Action: Focus on SDG13

The celebration of International Family Day every year brings with it a variety of new opportunities and ways to raise awareness for the day. And, in doing so, the purpose is to improve the well-being and care of families around the globe.

International Family Day Timeline


National Family Week is initiated in USA

US President Richard Nixon proclaims National Family Week to be the week of Thanksgiving.[1]


UN declares International Year of the Family

After spending several years focusing attention on issues related to the family, the UN declares this the year of the family.


First International Family Day takes place

The United Nations (UN) founds and celebrates the inaugural International Family Day. [2]


Modern Family makes its debut

This popular American television sitcom makes an appearance and will become a favorite for more than a decade. [3]


Family and technology theme for International Family Day

The theme for International Family Day celebration is: Families and New Technologies. [4]

How to Celebrate International Family Day

International Family Day can be celebrated on a number of levels, whether at home, in the workplace, at schools or in the local community. Take a look at some of these fun and interesting ways to observe the day with some creative ideas and get started by implementing one or more of them:

Host an International Family Day Celebration

For businesses, community programs, school and more, International Family Day provides an ideal opportunity to get families involved in their activities. In fact, many different organizations could collaborate together to host a community event that is all about celebrating family. It could be something so simple as a small picnic in the park where each family brings their own blanket and food. Or it could be something a bit more on a grand scale where businesses sponsor a mini carnival for families, complete with bounce houses, games and more. Take this time to show respect for families of all shapes and sizes on this day!

Learn Interesting Facts About Families

One way to raise awareness about the importance of International Family Day might be to get a bit more educated on the plight of families around the world. The motivation behind the United Nations’ development of this day has been to bring attention and support to the places where it is needed in families around the world.

Some of these interesting facts might be useful for sharing with co-workers, friends or others encountered in life:

  • A complete family can be defined as an association of two or more persons, with or without children.

  • In the United States, at least two out of three people have a step-relative as more than 40% of married couples are step-couples.

  • Some statistics show that a large extended family may help to reduce the crime rate in a society by providing support, care and motivation.

  • While friends might be important to children, family ranks higher in many cases. In fact, in one study more than 80% of children said that they value the opinion of their parents over their peers when making a decision that is serious.

Start a Family Tradition

One of the best ways to celebrate International Family Day might be to begin a new tradition in your own family. This could mean participating in the day by skipping school and work and just spending the day together or going on an outing. Or it could mean that each member of the family writes cards or letters of appreciation to the other members of the family. Or, perhaps over a home-cooked dinner together, everyone in the family says something they appreciate about their family.

Whatever activities are chosen, try to make it a day where the beauty of family is appreciated, the strength of family is honored, and the authenticity of family is shared.

Make a Family Songs Playlist

In celebration of family, consider making a playlist that offers an exciting selection of songs to listen to together and remind each other how great family really can be! Check out some of these fun songs that can be added to a playlist in honor of International Family Day:

  • We are Family by Sister Sledge (1979)
  • He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother by Neil Diamond (1970)
  • Daddy Sang Bass by Johnny Cash (1968)
  • Family Man by Fleetwood Mac (1987)

Advocate for Underserved Families

One super way to show appreciation for the family is by promoting healthy families in the local community. In 2015, the United Nations adopted a list of Sustainable Development Goals that were meant to help address and eliminate struggles such as discrimination, poverty, abuse, and preventable deaths, all while addressing the destruction of the environment.

International Family Day offers a perfect opportunity to become a part of community efforts that are working to address some of these issues. Whether making a small step by volunteering to tutor a child at a local school, or a larger step by getting trained to act as a loving foster parent, each community has many initiatives where individuals and families can get involved and provide support.

And in the political realm, this is a great motivation to support political policies and actions put on by the government that support the needs and health of families within the local community and also in the broader world.

International Family Day FAQs

How does a family tree work?

A family tree is a chart that represents relationships with the oldest generations at the top and youngest generations at the bottom. [1]

Do families share DNA?

Yes, genetically related family members share some DNA. The closer the family member, the more DNA they are likely to share. [2]

How do family generations work?

Siblings and cousins form one generation, parents and their siblings the previous generation, and their parents and siblings are the generation prior to that. [3]

Where to watch Modern Family?

The American television series Modern Family originally aired on ABC and can now be seen on a variety of online sources, such as Netflix, depending on the country.

Do families have the same blood type?

The genotype of blood is based on the dominance of the parents, so even siblings may not have the same blood type. [4]

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