Brothers and Sisters Day in Europe Date in the current year: May 31, 2024

Brothers and Sisters Day in Europe Brothers and Sisters Day, also referred to as Siblings Day, is observed on May 31 in some European countries. It was launched by the European Large Families Confederation (ELFAC) to celebrate sibling bonds and relationships.

The first country to celebrate Siblings Day was the United States. The holiday was conceived by Claudia Evart, who wanted to honor the memory of her siblings who died young. The inaugural Siblings Day was celebrated on April 10, 1997. Evert chose the date because it was her late sister’s birthday.

In Europe, Brothers and Sisters Day was launched by ELFAC in 2014 to highlight the importance of sibling relationships in child development. ELFAC was created in 2004 at the 2nd European Large Families Conference in Lisbon. It unites large families association across Europe, representing over 60 million people from nearly 9 million families.

The main objective of ELFAC is to represent the social and economic interests of families with children, with a special emphasis on large families, as the most appropriate environment for raising children and helping them integrate into society as functional members. The Confederation also strives to connect European large families associations for the exchange of experience and mutual support.

ELFAC suggested that Brothers and Sisters Day be celebrated on May 31 because it is the day before the International Day for Protection of Children, commonly referred to as Children’s Day. Besides, some European countries celebrate Mother’s Day in May (usually on the first, second or last Sunday of the month, depending on the country), and May 15 was declared the International Day of Families by the United Nations, so May is truly a “family month”.

European Brothers and Sisters Day is celebrated in all countries with ELFAC’s member associations: Andorra, Austria, Cyprus, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, and Ukraine. The holiday is particularly popular in Portugal, where it has been acknowledged publicly by the president.

The celebration of Brothers and Sisters Day is open to any European and non-European country. The holiday’s motto is, “If you want to make a child happy, give them a sibling. If you want to make a child very happy, give them lots of siblings.”

The best way to celebrate Brothers and Sisters Day is to spend it with your siblings. You can go out for lunch or dinner or even spend the whole day together, enjoying each other’s company, exchange presents and hugs, post your childhood photos on social media, etc. If you can’t meet in person, schedule a Zoom meeting to hang out virtually.

If you’re a parent to multiple kids, use Brothers and Sisters Day as an opportunity for sibling bonding and turn it into a day-long fun experience for all your children. It may be tricky in case your kids have a big age gap, but with proper parenting, sibling bonds defy the age difference.

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Brothers and Sisters Day in Europe, Siblings Day, international observances, European observances, family holidays