National Brothers and Sisters Day – May 2, 2021

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Today is dedicated to the people who (we hope) made your childhood memorable — your siblings. They’ve been there for you during the good times. And they haven’t left your side through the bad (even if they created it by getting you in trouble). Of course, there were probably times where you couldn’t stand the sight of each other. What siblings don’t get into fights? Still, National Brothers and Sisters Day is the day to reflect on the best times this May 2.

We all agree about the importance of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. But brothers and sisters know you like no one else ever will.

When is National Brothers and Sisters Day 2021?

The unconditional bond between brothers and sisters is celebrated on National Brothers and Sisters Day on May 2.

History of National Brothers and Sisters Day

Life is short, and it’s easy to get caught up on the little things that may come your way. National Brothers and Sisters Day was created after an unknown woman lost her brother and realized how she never let him know how much he meant to her. Two years after his death, she decided to create a holiday that was all about siblings connecting, reconnecting, and appreciating each other so that others didn’t miss out on what she did: a close relationship with her brother. And thus, National Brothers and Sisters Day was born.

It is meant to be a holiday that is strictly celebrated from the heart where brothers and sisters really take the time to value and cherish each other and the memories they share and to (of course) create new ones. Not to be confused with National Siblings Day, this holiday was created to specifically recognize the bond that only brothers and sisters can have.

So whether you and your brother or sister haven’t spoken in days, months or years, it’s a time to reflect and strengthen bonds. Call your sibling and talk for 10 minutes or go see a movie together. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate this holiday, all you have to do appreciate and continue to grow with your brother or sister.

Brothers and sisters for a lot of people are each other’s first best friends, first sparring partners, and one of their most valued protectors. Each year the holiday is celebrated at the beginning of May — the middle of spring, a time for blooming. It’s the perfect time of the year to water and nurture your relationship no matter how weak or strong it may be.

National Brothers and Sisters Day timeline

December 3, 1993
A Dangerous Woman

Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal both appear in their father's film, "A Dangerous Woman."

April 6, 2004
My Sister's Keeper

Jodi Picoult's famous novel, "My Sister's Keeper" is published, telling the story of a brother and sister trying to support their older sister who is slowly dying from leukemia.

September 24, 2006
Brothers & Sisters

Television comedy "Brothers & Sisters" makes its premier debut on ABC.

January 13, 2015
Schitt's Creek

The first episode of "Schitt's Creek" airs on CBC Television, featuring not only TV brother and sister David and Alexis, but also real life brother and sister, Daniel and Sarah Levy.

National Brothers and Sisters Day - Survey Results

Data gathered by a top Portland Marketing Agency

AMERICANS WITHOUT SIBLINGS ARE PERFECTLY HAPPY THAT WAY

When asked whether they would prefer to have brothers/sisters or be an only child, 38% of sibling-less Americans said they are perfectly happy without brothers and sisters. Only 12% of Americans with siblings would prefer to be an only child.

WOMEN PREFER TO BE THE YOUNGEST CHILD; MEN WOULD RATHER BE THE OLDEST

35% of women would prefer to be the youngest child, 34% the oldest, 17% the middle child, and 14% an only child. Meanwhile, 40% of men would prefer to be the oldest child, 24% the youngest, 20% the middle child, and 16% an only child.

Traditions of the Day

Behind every tradition is a great story. Traditions on this day differ for everyone. Sibling pairs who fight like there’s no end yet love each other like crazy all share experiences and inside jokes that only they can understand. These become traditions later on in life, like making that strange concoction that only they know, driving in streets and visiting places that hold meaning only for them, calling each other nicknames that may sound totally bizarre to others, and more. 

Although siblings often feel like the other is cramping their style, brothers and sisters spend more time together on this day. They go out to their favorite eatery, take drives together, go to an arcade to revisit childhood memories, and do other activities to show how much they actually adore each other, without getting too mushy about it. 

Another popular tradition in the past few years is recreating childhood photos. The outfits and poses from a memorable photograph are re-enacted and posted on social media.

By the Numbers

33% – the percentage of free time siblings have spent together by the time they reach the age of 11 years old.

10 – the number of hours children spend with their siblings per week.

17 – the number of hours children from large families spend with their siblings per week.

½ – the portion of all siblings who go on to share the same level of educational- and economic success.

14% – the percentage decrease in risk of obesity that drops with each additional sibling in a household.

65% – the percentage of mothers who claim to have a favorite child — typically the oldest one.

70% – the percentage of fathers who claim to have a favorite child.

– the number of times in an hour that siblings aged between 3 and 7 years old get involved in fights.

390 – the number of families who participated in a research study that found younger siblings are more rebellious and aggressive than older siblings.

8 – the average age at which children start being bullied by their siblings.

National Brothers and Sisters Day FAQs

Is this only a US Holiday?

Absolutely not! In fact, this holiday is observed in several countries including France, Portugal and Spain. The holiday may fall on a different calendar day than the one observed in the United States, but the celebration of love and creating bonds with your brother or sister is all the same.

Can you be an only child and celebrate National Brothers and Sisters Day?

Yes, of course. Brothers and sisters don’t always come biologically, they can come in the form of a friend or cousin. You can participate by spending time and making memories with the brother or sister figure in your life. You can even celebrate the day by honoring your favorite brother sister duo.

What's the difference between National Brothers and Sisters Day and Siblings Day?

We get this question a lot. While both days were born out of traumatic events and are meant to appreciate your siblings, there is a slight difference between the two. This day is specifically for brothers and sisters, so if you grew up with just sisters or just brothers… sorry but you can skip this one!

National Brothers and Sisters Day Activities

  1. Call each other

    What better way to let someone know that you're thinking of them than to take time out and call them? Whether it's FaceTime, or a good old fashion phone call, the gesture goes a long way especially when texting is the norm. So call up your brother or sister anytime of the day and reminisce, we guarantee they will appreciate it.

  2. Spend some quality time together

    Plan to spend time with your brother or sister doing all your favorite hobbies together. Catch a movie, visit your favorite restaurant or your childhood home. Whatever you chose to do, just be present with one another.

  3. Give each other a shoutout

    Show your brother or sister some love online by shouting them out on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. It may be less personal for some but it means a lot to most to see beloved pictures along with a sentimental caption.

5 Little Known Facts About Brothers And Sisters 

  1. Siblings, how many of us have them?

    89% of Americans have a brother or sister

  2. Would you rather?

    35% of Americans would rather be the older sibling

  3. Besties for life

    10% of Americans say they are best friends with their brother/sister

  4. Not so brotherly/sisterly love

    8% of Americans say that they have physically fought their siblings, drawing blood or leaving marks

  5. Birds of a feather

    5% of Americans regularly hang out with their brother(s)/sister(s) and share the same friend group

Why We Love National Brothers and Sisters Day

  1. It's not Commercial

    This day may not be as well known as others but there are so many positives to not being a commercial holiday. It keeps the day heartfelt and there is no right or wrong way to celebrate your brother or sister. It is truly all love.

  2. It's FUN!

    Sharing inside jokes, reflecting on childhood adventures and simply catching up is always fun especially with your siblings. You literally go with the flow on this day with your brother or sister. You might even go on a new adventure that you can look back on for the next National Brothers and Sisters Day.

  3. It's a day to Rebuild

    We understand that not everyone is close with their sibling and that's another reason why we love this holiday. You don't have to be best friends with each other to celebrate this day, but you can use it as a stepping stone to repairing relationships and we think that's pretty amazing.

National Brothers and Sisters Day dates

YearDateDay
2021May 2Sunday
2022May 2Monday
2023May 2Tuesday
2024May 2Thursday
2025May 2Friday

Let’s get social

Here are some special hashtags for the day.

#NationalBrothersAndSistersDay #BrothersAndSistersDay #BrotherLove #SisterLove #Siblings #SiblingRivalry #SiblingGoals #GrowingUpWithSiblings