National Grandparents Week is celebrated from October 27 to November 1 every year in New Zealand. The day was established by the Worlds of Wellington Trust to recognize and appreciate the years of dedication and support that grandparents provide to their families. The week exists to remind people to slow down and appreciate individuals who dedicate their time, effort, energy, and love to taking care of their families, often without even getting thanks in return. The week is conventionally spent with grandchildren appreciating their grandparents with words, hugs, flowers, and cards, among others.
History of Grandparents Week
While having grandparents is a fairly common phenomenon today, this wasn’t always the case. It was only recently, in the course of human history, that people have lived long enough to be grandparents for a considerable amount of time. Grandparents first became common around 30,000 years ago, according to archaeological evidence found in Europe. This rise in life expectancy is often attributed as the reason for an “explosion of new tool types and art forms” in Europe, and also the reason why modern humans outlived others in the homo genus, like the Neanderthals. What is not certain, however, is what caused this hike in longevity.
The use of the prefix ‘grand’ can be dated back to the beginning of the 13th century. It is derived from the Anglo-French ‘graund’ and Latin ‘magnus.’ Grandparents are referred to as many variations of the words ‘grandmother’ and ‘grandfather.’ In English, they can be referred to as grandpa/ grandma, gramps/ granny, or nan/ pop. In many other parts of the world, there are different names for paternal and maternal grandparents. For example, in much of South Asia, a person’s maternal grandparents are referred to as ‘nana’ (grandfather) and ‘nani’ (grandmother), whilst paternal grandparents are referred to as ‘dada’ (grandfather) and ‘dadi’ (grandmother).
Grandparents have played varying roles in childcare throughout history and across cultures. Today, it is common to see grandparents helping their children by babysitting.
Grandparents Week timeline
Live expectancy rises, making grandparenthood possible.
The ‘grand’ in grandparents emerges due to linguistic development.
New Zealand becomes a nation.
The first Grandparents Week is celebrated in New Zealand.
Grandparents Week FAQs
Is there a special day for grandparents?
Yes, there’s Grandparents Day.
Is there a national grandchild day?
No, there’s not.
Where did the grandparents come from?
The first use of the word ‘grandparent’ was in the 1800s.
Grandparents Week Activities
Call your grandparents
If you have grandparents, give them a call this week. It’s important to tell them how much you love them!
Make them a card
Show a little more appreciation for your grandpa or grandma by making them a card. They’ll love it!
If it’s possible, visit your grandparents. Spend some quality time with them.
5 Interesting Facts About Grandparents
Half an adult life
The average person will be a grandparent for half of their adult life.
Because women have higher life expectancies, there tend to be more grandmas in the world than grandpas.
Less than 50% of adolescents had grandparents in 1900.
Over half of the grandparents in the United States and Europe partake in childcare.
There’s another holiday for grandparents — it’s called Grandparents Day!
Why We Love Grandparents Week
It highlights how important grandparents are
Grandparents play a very important role in the lives of their kids and grandkids. Grandparents Week is a reminder of how important they are.
It is an appreciation reminder
Grandparents Week is a perfect reminder to appreciate your grandparents. Show them how much you love them every chance you get this week.
It’s an excuse to spend time with them
Grandparents Week is a perfect excuse to spend time with your grandparents. Not that you need one.
Grandparents Week dates