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Parents' Day in the United States

Parental figures in the United States receive the recognition for the role they play in their children’s lives on Parents’ Day. The day aims to promote responsible parenting and to recognize positive parental role models. It celebrates the special bonds of love between parental figures and their children.

Is Parents' Day a Public Holiday?

Parents' Day is not a public holiday. It falls on Sunday, July 28, 2019 and most businesses follow regular Sunday opening hours in the United States.

Parents' Day in the USA recognizes that responsible parenting is important in a family.
Parents' Day in the USA recognizes that responsible parenting is important in a family.
©iStockphoto.com/kali9

What Do People Do?

Parents’ Day is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of July each year. Citizens, organizations, and federal, state, and local governmental and legislative entities are encouraged to recognize Parents’ Day through proclamations, activities, and educational efforts to recognize, uplift and support the role of parents in bringing up their children.

The Parents’ Day Council plays an active role in celebrating and promoting Parents’ Day through a range of events and activities.  For example, the council honors “Parents of the Year” at local, state and national levels. Those who have been nominated or selected are people who exemplify the standard and ideal of positive parenthood. Exemplary parents from each state are nominated for “National Parents of the Year”.

Parents’ Day is a popular time for people to send cards and gifts, including flowers, cakes and food hampers, to those who play an important role as a positive parental figure in their lives. It is also a time for families to come together for lunches or dinners. Special tributes to parental figures who are seen as role models are made through local announcements, at church services, or at local community events. Parents’ Day proclamations and rallies have been held in recent times and involved organizations such as the United Civil Rights Councils of America.

Public Life

Parents’ Day is a national observance but it is not a public holiday in the United States.

Background

Parents’ Day promotes the message that the role of the parent is important in human development, which requires investment, focus, and commitment. In 1994 President Bill Clinton signed into law a resolution adopted by the US Congress to establish the fourth Sunday of every July as Parents' Day. This day is similar to Mother's Day and Father's Day. According to the Congressional Resolution, Parents’ Day is established for “recognizing, uplifting, and supporting the role of parents in the rearing of children” (cited in the National Parents' Day Council website).

Symbols

Images of people engaged in active learning activities with their children are often used in photos, posters, paintings, stickers and sketches to promote Parents’ Day. Images of flowers are also used to promote the day. The messages that organizations try to portray through these images are that: commitment is a core family value; parental responsibilities are important to children’s growth and development; and that unconditional love is needed for a strong bond between parental figures and their children. Parental figures include biological, foster or step-parents.

External Links

National Parents' Day Council

Parents' Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2010SunJul 25Parents' DayObservance 
2011SunJul 24Parents' DayObservance 
2012SunJul 22Parents' DayObservance 
2013SunJul 28Parents' DayObservance 
2014SunJul 27Parents' DayObservance 
2015SunJul 26Parents' DayObservance 
2016SunJul 24Parents' DayObservance 
2017SunJul 23Parents' DayObservance 
2018SunJul 22Parents' DayObservance 
2019SunJul 28Parents' DayObservance 
2020SunJul 26Parents' DayObservance 

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