National Big Sister Day

A heartwarming image of a young woman giving her big sister a bouquet of flowers, dressed in a cozy sweater and jeans, surrounded by a beautiful park scenery. The scene captures the love and gratitude of National Big Sister Day, emphasizing the timeless bond between siblings..
National big sister day illustration

Have you ever woken up and realized it's National Big Sister Day, then immediately panicked because you forgot to buy a gift, or worse, you don't even know what it's about? You're not alone, and that's exactly why we're here! A day that's like a clandestine secret society celebration, known by a few and loved by many (particularly by the big sisters, but shhhhh!).

When is Big Sister Day?

It's national big sister day on the 20th April.

A Brief History of National Big Sister Day

This day has actually been quietly celebrated in homes around the country since we first noted mentions of it back in 2015. Interestingly, the most mentions were on 20th April 2015. Could it be 4/20's lesser-known, wholesome cousin? We may never know.

Whatcha Gonna Do When They Come for You?

What do people do on National Big Sister Day? Well, anything really! This day provides an excellent opportunity to thank your big sister for all those times she covered for you when you broke Mom's favorite vase. It's about recognizing the sacrifice, love, and occasional bossiness that comes with being a big sister. Flowers, chocolates, a day out at her favorite hangout spot, or even a simple heartfelt hug can contribute to the celebration of this day.

Every Day is Big Sister Day, in a Way

Big sisters provide love, guidance, and an excellent buffer against annoying parents. So, in essence, every day they spend being amazing, should be celebrated as Big Sister Day... but the mortgage and bills won't pay for themselves, hence we have settled for a single day of pomp and pageantry.

History behind the term 'Big Sister'


The Origin of Big Sister: Literature

The term 'big sister' first emerged in literature in the year 1796. It was used by English author Maria Edgeworth in her novel 'The Parent's Assistant.' The novel featured a character named Rosamond, who was portrayed as a caring and responsible older sister. This marked the beginning of the term's association with an older female sibling who demonstrates a nurturing and protective role.


A Brotherhood-inspired Interpretation

In 1903, the term 'big sister' gained a new connotation thanks to the Order of Big Sisters, a secret society founded by African American women. The Order aimed to guide and support young African American women entering college. Their influence inspired the use of 'big sister' as a term expressing mentoring, leadership, and the practice of helping others.


Big Sister as a Radio Soap Opera

The term 'big sister' reached new heights in 1925 when it became the title of a popular American radio soap opera. The program, initially broadcast on NBC and later on CBS, revolved around the life of Ruth Evans, the 'big sister' who provided advice, comfort, and guidance to her siblings. This radio drama cemented the concept of a 'big sister' figure as a reliable source of emotional support and guidance.


Big Sisters: Establishing Mentorship Programs

In 1969, the organization 'Big Sisters' was launched in Canada with the goal of providing mentoring relationships for young girls. This initiative was modeled after 'Big Brothers,' which had been operating since 1913. The program aimed to match adult women with young girls in need of guidance. The establishment of 'Big Sisters' further solidified the term 'big sister' as a symbol of mentorship and support.


Big Sister in Pop Culture: Bioshock

The term 'big sister' gained a new meaning in 2007 with the release of the video game 'BioShock.' In the game, the character 'Big Sister' is a formidable antagonist. She is a genetically enhanced young woman tasked with protecting the Little Sisters, who are girls used as a source of a valuable substance. The portrayal of 'big sister' in this video game showcases the term's versatility and its ability to be interpreted in various contexts.

Did you know?

Did you know that according to a study from Brigham Young University, having a sister, either younger or older, can help you become a kinder, more giving person? So to all the big sisters out there, we thank you for making this world a nicer place.


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First identified

20th April 2015

Most mentioned on

20th April 2015

Total mentions


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