Sunday, February 20th, 2011 | Author: mjward

However we define families, they are the keystone for any society. They provide love and care for members, raise children, and provide a focus for a person’s life. Around the world, official days recognize their importance for individuals and for the community.

In Canada, three provinces have declared that the third Monday in February is Family Day. Alberta led the way in 1990. Following a drug scandal involving his son, the premier of that province promoted Family Day. He admitted that he himself had neglected his family and that it was important for all Albertans to pay more attention to theirs. Saskatchewan and Ontario followed Alberta’s lead in 2007 and 2008. Regular public holidays are believed to make it easier for families to achieve a better balance between family and work responsibilities. The February holiday breaks up the long stretch between New Years and Easter. Families are encouraged to spend time together–get together with relatives, play winter sports, or just enjoy each other’s company.

The Canadian provinces aren’t the only ones to celebrate families. The Australian Capital Territory declared an annual Family and Community Day in 2007. It is tied to the September-October school holidays. In South Africa, Easter Monday was renamed Family Day. Arizona designated the first Sunday in August as American Family Day. Other states have followed its lead.

Since 1994, the United Nations has recognized May 15 as the International Day of Families. This is an occasion to celebrate the importance of families to people, societies and cultures around the world. Each year, a theme is selected that focuses attention on a particular area of concern. The one for 2011 is “Confronting Family Poverty.” Locally, there may be workshops, policy meetings for public officials, and the start of campaigns to strengthen families.

Even if our own area has no official day to celebrate family life, there are many things we can do as families. We can ski, skate, play pickup basketball, phone a distant relative, hike, play indoor games, picnic, make meals together. By using our imaginations, we can come up with many more ways to enjoy and celebrate family life.

Category: About Families
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