Family Day

Family Day is a public holiday in South Africa, and in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Ontario, in the American states of Arizona and Nevada, in Vanuatu, in Vietnam, (as "Family & Community Day") in the Australian Capital Territory, and as the second day of Songkran in Thailand.


Australian Capital Territory

Family and Community was celebrated on the first Tuesday of November from 2007-2009, coinciding with the Melbourne Cup. This public holiday was declared in 2007. Andrew Barr, ACT Minister for Industrial Relations stated the purpose of the new public holiday was:

" enable workers to take a break from their hectic work and to spend some quality time with their family and friends. ... Australians do work the longest hours of any country in the western world. We do deserve a break."[1]

From 2010 onwards the date was moved to the first Monday of the September/October school holidays (27 September 2010). Where the first Monday of the school holidays falls on the ACT Labour Day public holiday (first Monday in October), the holiday is moved to the second Monday of the ACT school holidays.[2][3]


Main article: Family Day (Canada)

Nearly two-thirds of Canadians reside in a province that observes a statutory holiday on the third Monday of February - the second Monday, in British Columbia. The holiday is called Family Day in four provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario), Louis Riel Day in Manitoba, and Islander Day in Prince Edward Island. There is no federally established Family Day.

This holiday was first observed in Alberta in 1990, followed by Saskatchewan in 2007 and Ontario in 2008. On May 28, 2012, the BC government announced that Family Day would be observed on the second Monday in February each year, starting February 11, 2013.[4]

As a new holiday, there are no traditional activities that are associated with the day. Canadians use the long weekend for whatever purpose they like.

Family Day is unrelated to National Family Week, a campaign put on each October by the Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs.

South Africa

After 1995, Easter Monday was renamed Family Day.[5][6]

United States

Family Day is a state holiday in Nevada, celebrated on the day after Thanksgiving, i.e. the Friday following the fourth Thursday in November.[7]

American Family Day is a state holiday in Arizona and has been celebrated on the first Sunday in August since 1978.[8]


Family Day in Vanuatu is celebrated annually on December 26, traditionally Boxing Day, as a day on which school and work are suspended in order to spend the day giving thanks for and enjoying time with one's family, often by engaging in civic and religious events and a festive meal.


  1. "Hansard, Legislative Assembly for the ACT". 25 September 2007. Retrieved 19 February 2008.
  2. "Daylight Saving and Public Holidays in the ACT". Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate. Australian Capital Territory Government. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  3. "Term Dates and Public Holidays". Education and Training Directorate. Australian Capital Territory Government. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  4. "Government of BC Blog - About BC Family Day". 2013-01-29. Retrieved 2013-02-04.
  5. "Public Holidays Act, 1994 (36)" (PDF). 1994-12-07. Retrieved 2006-04-05.
  6. "About SA - Public Holidays". 2006-03-28. Retrieved 2006-04-05.
  7. "Chapter 236 - Holidays and Periods of Observance". Nevada Revised Statutes. Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
  8. "American Family Day". Retrieved 2011-10-14.
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