The History Behind National Grandparents Day and How It’s Celebrated Around the World

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National Grandparents Day

This year National Grandparents Day in the United States falls on September 9. Typically revered as a day where grandchildren celebrate all that their loving grandparents do for them, this holiday has an interesting history dating back to the early 1970s.

The History of National Grandparents Day

The founder of National Grandparents Day, Marian McQuade, felt the need to establish a day to educate people and showcase the important contributions seniors have made throughout history. Here are a few key facts about the holiday’s development.

  • After much thought and a growth in support, McQuade reached out to then Senator Jennings Randolph. With Senator Randolph’s help, the resolution for National Grandparents Day was first introduced to the United States Senate in 1973.
  • Not long after the introduction to the United States Senate, the resolution died in committee. However, this shutdown did not stop Marian McQuade. She went on to urge all 50 states to proclaim their own Grandparents Day at the state level.
  • In 1977, three years after the resolution died in committee, Marian McQuade was backed by 43 states that had decided to establish their own date for a state-wide Grandparents Day celebration.
  • In February of 1977, Senator Randolph introduced National Grandparents Day, but this time as a joint resolution. This joint resolution asked that the first Sunday in September after Labor Day would be known as National Grandparents Day. The resolution passed.

National Grandparents Day has acquired and continues to promote the mission, “to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children, and help children become aware of the strength, information, and guidance older people can offer.”

With the ultimate passing of the resolution, National Grandparents Day became a treasured holiday that is looked forward to every year, and one which is celebrated differently all around the world.

How National Grandparents Day Is Celebrated Around the World

After the creation of National Grandparents Day as an official national holiday in the United States, many countries followed suit with their Grandparents Days featuring their own traditions. Below is a list of a few countries that have their own unique celebrations:

United States

In the United States, National Grandparents Day is celebrated in a variety of ways. Many schools encourage students to create handmade gifts, letters, and more to share with the grandparents.

The United States also has an official song to help commemorate this special holiday. Written by Johnny Prill, “A Song for Grandma and Grandpa”became the official song for National Grandparents Day in 2004.

This holiday also has a national flower. The forget-me-not is given to grandparents as a token of appreciation and love.


The Great White North originally began their observance of National Grandparents Day in 1995. Falling on the second Sunday in September, this day was established to acknowledge the importance of grandparents in Canadian society.


First celebrated on the first Sunday in November in 2010, Australians have embraced Grandparents Day and look forward to their celebrations every year. Though the country has many ways to celebrate, one of the most treasured is the contest for Grandparent of the Year. This year, the holiday falls on October 28.


After the United States acknowledged National Grandparents Day in 1977, France followed suit in 1987. This holiday is now observed the first Sunday in March every year.


In Estonia, Grandparents Day was first celebrated in 2010 on the second Sunday in September. Today that tradition still holds true and those living in Estonia look forward to the festivities each year.

United Kingdom

First observed in 1990, Grandparents Day was originally introduced to the UK by the charity Age Concern. This holiday continues to be observed on the first Sunday in October every year.


First introduced in 2005, Italy observes their own Grandparents Day on October 2 every year.


The Polish observe Grandparents Day differently than most countries, with Poles celebrating Grandmothers Day and Grandfathers Day on two separate days.

Grandmothers Day is observed on January 21 and Grandfathers Day is observed the next day on January 22.

How Are You Celebrating National Grandparents Day?

Grandparents Day is right around the corner! How do you plan on celebrating? Let us know! Contact our caring staff at Water’s Edge of Lake Wales today!