Family Day

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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 & Community Day was celebrated on the first Tuesday of November in 2007, 2008 and 2009, coinciding with the Melbourne Cup. This public holiday was declared in 2007 under section 3(1)(b) of the Holidays Act 1953 (ACT). It was announced in 2008 that it would continue on Melbourne Cup Day in 2008 and 2009. Mr. Andrew Barr, the ACT Minister for Industrial Relations stated the purpose of the new public holiday was:

" enable workers to take a break from their hectic working lives 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]

The ACT’s Minister for Industrial Relations John Hargreaves announced in August 2009 that the territory’s Family and Community Day would move to a different date from 2010 onwards.

Hargreaves announced that Family and Community Day would be on the first Monday of the September/October school holidays in 2010 (Monday, September 27, 2010). “However, in future years where the first Monday of the school holidays falls on the currently designated Labour Day public holiday, such as will occur in 2011 and 2012, the Family and Community Day will be moved to the second Monday of the term break".

The Family and Community Day public holiday will fall on the following dates in the next few years:

2010 - Monday, 26 September

2011 - Monday, 10 October

2012 - Monday, 8 October

2013 - Monday, 30 September

2014 - Monday, 29 September

Source: and


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.[2]

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.[3][4]

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.[5]

American Family Day is a state holiday in Arizona and has been celebrated on the first Sunday in August since 1978.[6]


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". 2007-09-25. Retrieved 2008-02-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Government of BC Blog - About BC Family Day". 2013-01-29. Retrieved 2013-02-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Public Holidays Act, 1994 (36)" (PDF). 1994-12-07. Retrieved 2006-04-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "About SA - Public Holidays". 2006-03-28. Retrieved 2006-04-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Chapter 236 - Holidays and Periods of Observance". Nevada Revised Statutes. Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau. Retrieved 2011-10-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "American Family Day". Retrieved 2011-10-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>