National Cousins Day falls on the calendar every July 24 and is the perfect day to send some love to those family members we call cousins. Whether they were our first best friend or first antagonist, cousins are the people who made family get togethers fun – or at least more tolerable and less awkward – when we were kids. Whether close cousins or distant cousins, friends or foes, those of us who are lucky enough to still have cousins around should think about celebrating them today.
WHEN IS NATIONAL COUSINS DAY 2021?
The two-in-one family and best friend bond are celebrated on National Cousins Day on July 24.
HISTORY OF NATIONAL COUSINS DAY
Exactly when National Cousins Day made its way onto our modern-day calendar is a mystery. What we do know is that cousins have been keeping families connected for a long time.
American families have been coming together for reunions since the first settlers left the safety of the colonies and headed west to find fame, fortune, and more importantly, land. As one generation passed the baton of keeping extended family connected onto the next generation, cousins became the guardians of family ties.
Even in families who no longer gather for regular reunions, cousins tend to reach out to each other later in life and revisit the shared memories of being family. If your cousins are like brothers and sisters or you became best friends growing up, staying in touch with them may not require a special day on your calendar. If you’re from a small family or one where the wanderlust gene is dominant and you’re not quite sure where all your cousins wandered off to years ago, celebrating cousinship takes a little more effort. It may take circling National Cousins Day on your calendar every year as an excuse to say hello to the cousins of your youth.
However, revisiting a family member you haven’t seen since you both were forced to sit at the kids’ table is always an interesting and nostalgic reunion. You get to see where your lives took you, the families you’ve created, the careers you’ve gone after, and the faces you’ve aged.
NATIONAL COUSINS DAYS AROUND THE WORLD
|Europe||Brothers and Sisters Day||The day honors the relationships between siblings.||May 31|
|India||Raksha Bandhan||A festival where sisters honor their brothers with the tying of a ‘patti’ around their wrists to signify the strong bond between them.||Last day of the Hindu lunar calendar month of Shraavana|
|India||Bhai Bij||The cultural and ritual celebrations of the bond between brothers and sisters.||Subject to change depending on the Hindu calendar|
|Portugal||Dia dos Irmãos||What National Siblings Day is known as in Portugal.||April 10|
WHY WE LOVE NATIONAL COUSINS DAY
Reconnect and make up
Today gives us a reason to make amends with estranged family, beginning with our cousins. Sometimes all it takes to patch things up is to just reach out and say hello. National Cousins Day is an excuse to call, email, or track down those long-lost cousins on social media. Regardless of outcome, making the effort is what counts.
Built-in best friends
Our cousins were some of our very first best friends. We’d see them during family get togethers, share gossip, and sneak extra snacks while our parents’ backs were turned.
There is truth behind the age-old maxim: It is more blessed to give than to receive. Telling our favorite cousins how much we appreciate them and how special they are sends out positive vibes that boomerang right back to us. Everyone likes to feel special.