Though Celebration of Life Day, which lands on January 22, was originally instituted to celebrate the children in our lives, it has come to signify all that’s good about being alive. It’s easy to forget sometimes, but we are all fortunate to be here. Take time to celebrate that the good far outweighs the bad in this life. It all starts with gratitude and appreciation for where you are right now, and wherever you hope your dreams take you. Every life is precious, individual, and a huge gift, so take a little extra time today to celebrate it.
History of Celebration of Life Day
Though Ronald Regan originally established the holiday to send an anti-abortion message, the Celebration of Life Day has come to be a day to celebrate both the lives of children and ourselves. Celebration of Life Day was originally called National Sanctity of Human Life Day and was proclaimed in January 1984 by Ronald Regan. At the time, President Regan chose to harken back to the landmark abortion case Roe v Wade by placing National Sanctity of Human Life Day on the 11-year anniversary of the decision on the case.
Anti-abortion groups championed the holiday and felt that it expressed their sentiments on the importance of human life at all stages. This belief has been echoed in Donald Trump’s statement on the day from 2019. Organizations who champion the right to choose, like Planned Parenthood, denounced the day as a way of limiting women’s rights to autonomy over their bodies.
The history of National Sanctity of Human Life/Celebration of Life Day has been rocky. Though both Bush presidencies continued the holiday, it was discontinued for eight years under President Bill Clinton. Donald Trump has continued the holiday throughout his presidency, as well, and some churches have even marked it as a holy day on their calendars. The holiday routinely falls on a Sunday for this religious reason, although only in 2018 Donald Trump proclaimed it be celebrated on a Monday.
Today, many view the Celebration of Life Day as a day to spend extra time with their nieces, nephews, children, grandchildren, or even just kids they babysit. Every human life is precious, and today is the day to remind ourselves we are all lucky to be here and lead the lives we do. Despite our individual and group challenges, there is always good to be found and gratitude to be shown – and what better day to find the positive than Celebration of Life Day?
Celebration of Life Day timeline
- January 22, 2018
But on a Monday?
For the first time, Celebration of Life Day was proclaimed to be on a Monday by Donald Trump, but in 2019 it returned to falling on Sunday.
During his eight years in office, Bill Clinton discontinued the National Sanctity of Human life holiday.
- January 13, 1984
Celebration of Life Proclaimed
Ronald Regan issued a proclamation that January 22nd would be the National Sanctity of Human Life Day.
- January 22, 1973
Roe v Wade
The landmark abortion case Roe v Wade wraps up in 1973, a date that would be used 11 years later by Ronald Regan to mark the National Sanctity of Human Life holiday.
Celebration of Life Day FAQs
Why are celebrations important in our life?
Celebrations are literally what National Today is all about. We think they are important because life can have its ups and downs, but if we continue to celebrate the things that are important to us, then we continue to sample the things that make us happy.
Are there other National holidays honoring children?
Yes! Children’s Day falls on the second Sunday in June.
Where is the Celebration of Life Day observed?
The United States.
Are there any other holidays on January 22nd?
Yes! January 22nd is also National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day.
How to Observe Celebration of Life Day
Make a gratitude jar
It’s important to keep remembering why life is so good after today ends, and a gratitude jar is a great tool! Write down 20 things you are grateful for in your life (your dog, the vacation you take every year to Mexico, your favorite cookie recipe) on folded slips of paper, and keep them in a cute mason jar. Next time life gets you down, your gratitude jar will pull you back into a celebratory mood.
Get outside and play!
What better way to appreciate your life than feeling the sun shining on your face? Getting outside and playing with your children or pets is a fantastic way to boost your endorphins and appreciate the world we live in. Nature is universally considered one of the most beautiful things in this life, so get out there and appreciate it!
Indulge in a childhood favorite
Treat. Yo. Self. Today’s the day to celebrate children, so celebrate the child within you. We recommend getting ice cream, a childhood favorite! Try to reconnect with your younger self and get in touch with who you’ve always been.
5 Delightful Facts About Life & Happiness
Happiness helps boost your immune system
Psychosomatic research found that happier people are less likely to catch the common cold!
Grateful People Sleep Better
Cultivate gratitude every day, not just for Celebration of Life Day - it’ll help you catch more zzz’s and get more out of each rest.
Improve Self-Esteem with Gratitude
Those who are more grateful for their lives are more likely to have better self-esteem than average and are also more likely to be able to be happy for other people.
Color Your Feelings
Colors like grey are often associated with anxiety and depression, while some studies found that colors like yellow actually increase feelings of happiness and satisfaction.
Those who experience more positive emotions, like happiness or enthusiasm, have been shown to feel less pain throughout their lives.
Why We Love Celebration of Life Day
It’s a great time to reflect
In our day-to-day lives, the little negatives can start to seem really big. Your commute sucks, your roommate is messy, your lunch was boring. Today offers a chance to get out of the negative rut that’s sucking you in, and appreciate all the good that happened in your childhood and in your current life. Reflecting on what it is you value in life helps you set goals and take your next steps, so today is a great day for planning!
It helps us connect with family and our children
Family and friends are some of the best parts of life, and definitely the best people to celebrate life with! Today is a perfect excuse to spend extra time with your children and appreciate them for all they are.
It’s good for us!
There are seemingly endless psychological and physical benefits of adopting a grateful and happy mindset. Not only will it lead you to a more fulfilled feeling in your life, but it can help alleviate physical pain, ward off mental illnesses like anxiety and depression, and even strengthen your immune system! Celebration of Life day is the perfect day to turn your outlook around.
Celebration of Life Day dates