National Roots Day Date in the current year: December 23, 2024

National Roots Day National Roots Day is observed annually on December 23. It was created to encourage people to learn more about their family history and reflect on their ancestry and heritage.

The United States is often called the world’s “melting pot” for a reason; it is a country built by immigrants who came here in search of a better life. Most Americans have ancestors who lived in different corners of the world before coming to America with their families or on their own to build a family in the New World.

Some immigrants clung to their language and traditions because they felt the need to maintain ties to their homeland; others thought that fitting in was more important and assimilated – they changed their names to sound more American, gave up some or all of their customs and took up new ones, and their children grew up speaking English at home. Because of this, a lot of Americans don’t know much about their roots and heritage.

National Roots Day has been celebrated every December 23 for more than four decades. It was created to encourage people to connect to their ancestral roots and learn as much as they can about their family history because the choices our ancestors made in the past are the reason we were born and are who we are today.

Ironically, the origins of National Roots Day are unclear, but the choice of the date seems fitting. Every year around Christmas, families across the country gather at the holiday table and share stories and memories. Is there a better occasion to delve into your family history and learn things you’ve never bothered to learn before?

You can celebrate National Roots Day by going through old photos, making your family tree (it can be a fun bonding activity for the whole family), documenting your grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ stories about their youth, sharing family stories with your children, or researching your family history online (luckily, many genealogical records are publicly available these days).

You can even take a DNA test to learn more about your ancestry and ethnic origins. Who knows, maybe it will help you find a long-lost distant cousin or two! However, we recommend that you don’t do this without consulting your family first because it concerns them, too. Some people don’t want their family information to be accessible via ancestry websites, and their privacy concerns are understandable.

If your family doesn’t normally get together around Christmas, National Roots Day gives you a chance to change it! Organize a family reunion and spend this time getting back to your roots. You can cook traditional dishes of the country your ancestors came from, try to incorporate some of your great-grandparents’ traditions into your Christmas celebrations, or learn a few words from their native language.

And don’t forget to share the most interesting bits of your family history (of course, if they aren’t too private) on social media with the hashtags #RootsDay and #NationalRootsDay to spread the word about the holiday and encourage others to learn more about their roots.

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National Roots Day, observances in the United States, unofficial holidays, Roots Day, family history