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National Sisters Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of August — this year it falls on August 1. Nothing can quite compare to the bond that sisters have and this is a day to treasure the closeness that forms as you grow up together, sharing your secrets, your dreams, and all the fun times. Sisters have a deep connection that grows throughout childhood and remains strong throughout life. National Sisters Day is a chance for you to spend some quality time with your sister and to cherish the connection that you have.
History of National Sisters Day
Whilst the origins of National Sisters Day is unknown, we can trace the English word for sister back to the Old Norse word “systir”, which derives from the Proto–Germanic “swester.” In some societies, the term “sister” has broadened in its colloquial meaning to include women who share a close friendship. However, whether the relationship is formed by blood or friendship, sisters have been kicking butt and taking names since the beginning of time. Let’s take a moment to celebrate some great and memorable sisters from throughout history.
In 39 CE, the Trung sisters, Trung Trac and Trung Nhi, led the first Vietnamese independence movement by successfully rebelling against their Chinese dictators and establishing their own matriarchal independent state. They were raised learning martial arts and studying the art of warfare and went on to create a large army of rebels who were mostly women.
The Grimke sisters, Angelina and Sarah, were 19th century women’s rights activists and abolitionists, which is extremely impressive considering their own father was a wealthy slave owner in their hometown of Charleston. The ladies rejected their luxurious lifestyle, moved north, became Quakers, and gave lectures about their experiences witnessing the brutalities of slavery.
The Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne are known for their novels and achievements in literature. Between them, their body of work includes classics such as Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. The sisters are said to be particularly close due to the deaths of their mother and two elder sisters, as well as being raised in relative isolation.
Patricia, Minerva, and Antonia Mirabal, also known as Las Mariposas, are national heroines in the Dominican Republic for their opposition to dictator Rafael Trujillo. The three young women became symbols of both popular and feminist resistance during the 20th century.
Serena and Venus Williams are arguably the most famous sisters in the world right now. They will both go down in history as being among the greatest tennis players of all time. They have also paved the way for many other African American and Hispanic players in a once very exclusive and homogenous sport. As well as winning over 100 singles titles between them, they have won 22 titles when playing doubles together, including 14 grand slam titles and three Olympic gold medals.
These are just some of the badass sisters throughout history. Make sure you cherish your sister or sisters on National Sisters Day.
National Sisters Day timeline
The Trung sisters lead the Vietnamese revolution to break away from China and establish their own independent state.
Emily and Elizabeth Blackwell (two of the first American women to receive their medical degrees) establish the first hospital for women and children in the U.S.
16-year-old Stefania and six-year-old Helena Podgórska hide 13 Jews in the attic of their house in Poland during World War II, even though they live right next door to an S.S. officer.
Annie Elizabeth Delany becomes the second black female dentist in New York State and her sister Sarah Delany becomes the first black woman to teach home economics in a New York City school.
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.
Television comedy "Brothers & Sisters" makes its premiere debut on ABC
National Sisters Day Traditions
As this day is all about cherishing the bond that sisters have, the most important tradition is to spend some quality time with your sister or sisters. Do something that you have always enjoyed doing together, whether it is going for lunch, a coffee or to catch a movie, spend some quality time with each other and enjoy each other’s company.
It is also a good opportunity for you to bring out the old family photos and reminisce about your childhood together.
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.
14% – the percentage decrease in risk of obesity that drops with each additional sibling in a household.
195 – the sample size of an Italian study, which found that older sisters are less likely to bully siblings than older brothers.
3½ – the number of times in an hour that siblings aged between three and seven 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 Sisters Day FAQs
Is it sister's or sisters?
How can I be a good sister?
Is sister a proper noun?
National Sisters Day Activities
If you can't spend time with your sister in person, taking the time to call or send a card is the best gift you can give her. She'll love you just for making the effort!
Be a good listener
Attentive listening is important through good times and bad. Empathy and attention can go a long way from one sister to another.
Go on an adventure
Try something new together. What better way to bond with your sister than to push some boundaries?
Take Our National Sisters Day Survey
Why We Love National Sisters Day
It's a time to fix any misunderstandings
Arguments happen, but don't let them dictate your relationship. Take the day to reach out, fix any unresolved conflict, and strengthen your bond.
No sister? No problem
While it may seem like National Sisters Day is only for people who have biological sisters, your best friend can be just as close. Let her know how much you appreciate and love her with a sister's night out!
Cherish the memories
Life is busy, so use National Sisters Day as an opportunity to go through your old photos (and videos) and remember the good times.
National Sisters Day dates