“A son is a son ’til he takes him a wife; a daughter is a daughter all of her life.”
When is National Daughters Day?
National Daughters Day falls on Wednesday, September 25.
What’s the history of National Daughters Day
The original meaning behind this day may have blossomed in India. Per the Hindustan Times: “Unlike other countries in the world, there has always been a certain stigma attached to being a girl child in India, and while this may no longer be the case in the big cities, it is still quite widespread in India. When a woman gives birth to a girl she is penalized.” While developing countries often see daughters as a burden, other nations celebrate.
We might also view this day in the context of the #metoo movement — especially in the U.S. — where women have faced daunting obstacles throughout history. From the very beginning, society viewed women as inferior to men. “The law did not recognize wives’ independence in economic, political, or civic matters in Anglo-American society of the eighteenth century.”
Male privilege dominated at the time. Women did not receive the right to vote until 1920. Up until the 1960s, wives typically stayed at home while husbands worked. In many ways, the U.S. is still shaking off the dust of gender discrimination.
Why We Celebrate National Daughters Day:
On National Daughter Day we remember to show unconditional love to the guardian of our family trust, our beautiful, witty, creative, and sometimes, demanding daughters. For aging parents, especially, a daughter maintains a level of connectivity and commitment that keeps families together and healthy. (Of course, that’s not to say that sons don’t do their part. But today, we’re talking exclusively about daughters!)
How to observe and celebrate National Daughters Day:
The Father-Daughter Dance: It’s a big event in many communities. On National Daughters Day, both fathers and daughters strut their best stuff on the dance floor after a delicious dinner in a main hall. If your town has no Father-Daughter Dance, consider putting one on with a local community group. An event like this will always be a golden memory.
Read about admired daughters: National Daughters Day is a wonderful time to review beloved stories like “Little Women” and “The Diary of Anne Frank,” a book which gives us a chance to read the thoughts and dreams of a daughter who faced unthinkable circumstances.
Let her take the lead: Since National Daughters Day is all about how great our daughters are, consider letting yours tell you what she wants to do today. Spa day? Sounds good. Bicycling in the park? Very nice. But if your daughter just wants to have a pajama party and hang with her crew, let that be her choice. It’s her day!
What’s the difference between National Daughters Day and National Son and Daughter Day?
We might view this in the context of the #metoo movement — especially in the U.S. Women have faced daunting obstacles throughout American history. From the very beginning, society viewed women as inferior to men. “The law did not recognize wives’ independence in economic, political, or civic matters in Anglo-American society of the eighteenth century.” Male privilege dominated at the time. This is a much-needed time to focus on girls alone.
With so much emphasis historically placed on the importance of sons (especially in the area of inheritance), the status of having a daughter has often been diminished. In royalty, lines of succession have always flowed from father to son. This tradition still stands with today’s British Royal Family. (And who knows, maybe that should change, giving the women a chance. We think royal sons and daughters should work it out on the soccer field. Then, it’s winner take all— including the crown!)
Now that you’re feeling all warm inside, check out this video from September 18, 2019 showing how one daughter lit up her dad’s life — and then broke his heart — all within seven seconds:
And coming soon: National Sons Day on September 28.
National Daughters Day timeline
Louisa May Alcott's novel, "Little Women," becomes an immediate hit upon publication in two volumes. The story about a mother raising daughters on her own during the Civil War was based on Alcott's own household where she was one of four sisters.
"Gypsy: A Memoir"
The book recounts Gypsy Rose Lee's years touring as a theatre act with her little sister, June. It eventually spawned a hit Broadway musical and a big budget movie with Rosalind Russell and Natalie Wood.
On the surface, everything seems fine, but the harrowing book written by Joan Crawford's adopted daughter, Christina, reveals a horrific childhood, complete with temper tantrums and violence. The book turns into a cult movie that may have cost lead actress, Faye Dunaway, the best years of her career.
"Like Water for Chocolate"
Laura Esquivel's groundbreaking book tackles the Mexican tradition of banning the youngest daughter from marrying until after her mother dies. The book eventually became a movie released in 1993.
"The Joy Luck Club"
San Francisco's Amy Tan scores a bestseller with her 1989 book about growing up among a group of immigrant mothers with American-born daughters and the struggles they all go through to strengthen their bonds. Tan co-wrote the screenplay and co-produced the film.
5 Prime Examples Of What It Means To Have Good Genes
Judy Garland and Vincent Minelli produce Liza with a Z
Liza Minelli has "chops" like her famous mother, but her Oscar win for "Cabaret" proves she's a force all her own.
Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh created a "Scream Queen"
Some of us have never recovered after Jamie Lee Curtis' turn in "Friday the 13th," but for lighter fare, check her out in "Freaky Friday" where she exchanges bodies with her 13-year-old daughter (played by Lindsay Lohan).
Minnie Riperton really hit the "high note" with daughter Maya
Comic actor Maya Rudolph, singer Minnie Riperton's daughter, started cracking us up when she joined SNL in May, 2000 and she hasn't let up yet!
We have Sir Paul and Linda McCartney to thank for Stella
The fashion designer to the stars seems like royalty thanks to her Beatle pedigree.
And since we're talking royalty, let's throw in the "Queen Mum's" daughter
Breaking the traditional line of royal succession ain't easy for girls but that's just what happened when Queen Elizabeth II was crowned after the death of her father, George VI.
Why We Love National Daughters Day
A daughter gets positive reinforcement
Your daughter may do more than you know. In single-parent homes, a daughter may keep the family functioning when Mom or Dad (or even Grandma or Grandpa) is at work. Lots of daughters cook, clean, and help their siblings with homework. So, this is your chance to acknowledge how helpful your daughter is with dinner and a movie, or a beach trip for her and her crew.
Mother-daughter love is real
Don't believe the hype that mothers and daughters don't get along. This myth goes along the lines that mothers and daughters are naturally competitive, or that mothers and daughters argue because they're too much alike. Many mothers and daughters can't live without each other and use National Daughters Day as an excuse to hang out with your favorite girl, no matter how old she is. If there happens to be a little strife, this day is a great opportunity to work things out.
Your daughter may share her dreams with you
This is the day when your daughter may give you a glimpse into how she sees her future. If you listen closely, you may find out what an intelligent, empathetic, independent, level-headed daughter you raised!