National Aunts and Uncles Day is observed every July 26. Our aunts and uncles are unique parts of our family; they can be like a second set of parents, or great friends you happen to be related to. Often, they’ve watched us grow up, and are full of stories about things we did in our youth we might not even remember. July is a great month for a cookout, or outdoor activities. Call up your aunts and uncles and ask them to come out and celebrate their special place in your life.
History of National Aunt and Uncle Day
It’s unclear exactly when National Aunts and Uncles Day was started, but it’s safe to say people have been celebrating their parent’s siblings for a long time. The word aunt is derived from the French word for the same familial relation, tante. Uncle is also derived from a french word — oncle. Both of these words start even further back in history, stemming from the Latin words amita and avunculus respectively.
Aunts and uncles have different roles in many human societies. For example, in the Ashanti tribe of Ghana, aunts and uncles are given free reign to discipline and raise their siblings’ children. They’re essentially a second set of parents, who you real parents trust the most because, well, they were raised together. In many Polynesian cultures, anyone older than you may be addressed as aunt or uncle as a term of respect and endearment. Aunts and uncles also occupy a place of importance in modern pop culture, with many famous examples across television, literature, and film. Often, these characters, such as Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince, act as parental figures for their niece, nephews, and their own children, signifying their position as wise and trusted members of the family.
National Aunt and Uncle Day timeline
Beloved cartoon character Uncle Wiggily, an aged but wisecracking rabbit, debuts in the Newark News.
Thanks to the invention of the Huzenlaub process, a technique for parboiling rice, scientists are able to create a revolutionary new food — Uncle Ben’s minute rice.
Queen Elizabeth II becomes an aunt to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Aunt May is introduced in Amazing Fantasy as the aunt and guardian of Peter Parker; a boy better known as Spider-Man.
National Aunt and Uncle Day FAQs
What if I don’t have an aunt or uncle?
That’s ok! Everyone’s family is different. Use today to spend time with the people in your life who have performed a similar role for you — parents, grandparents, or even close family friends.
What if my family lives too far away?
Today’s technology makes it easy to keep up with family, even if they live across the sea. Use a video conferencing app to have a face-to-face hang with your relatives!
What if I don’t know my aunts or uncles well?
That’s fine — maybe today is the perfect excuse to start getting to know them a little better.
National Aunt and Uncle Day Activities
Spend some quality time with your aunts and uncles
This might seem obvious, but what better way is there to celebrate your extended family than by spending time with them?
Go through a photo album with them
Dust off an old photo album and fip through it with your aunts and uncles. Find pictures of them — and your parents — as kids, and have them tell you the stories that go with them.
Make a family tree
Your aunts and uncles might have better insight into your family history than you; after all, they’ve been around longer. Asking them to help you flesh out a family tree will be fun, and educational.
5 Facts About Aunts And Uncles
Talk about “great” aunt
Susannah Jones, an American woman who lived to be 116 years old, had over 100 nieces and nephews at the time of her death.
An uncle you can’t refuse
Francis Ford Coppola, director of The Godfather, is actor Nicholas Cage’s uncle.
“I want you”
Uncle Sam, the personification of the United States, is named for Samuel Wilson, a man from New York upon whom his appearance is also based.
You’re moving with your auntie and uncle
The first season of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air premiered in 1990
Quakers and pancakes
The Quaker Oats Company originally based their Aunt Jemima logo off of a minstrel show.
Why We Love National Aunt and Uncle Day
It reminds us to spend time with our family
Today’s world is busy and distracted. It’s easy to forget to check in with family if you don’t see them every day — so make a point of getting in touch to celebrate this holiday!
It makes memories that will last forever
Taking the time to have a great day with your family is never something you’ll regret. Use today to have great times that you’ll always remember.
You can learn about yourself and your family
Aunts and uncles are full of stories and family history. By spending the day with them, you’ll probably learn some new and fun information about your family
National Aunt and Uncle Day dates