Real Aunties Day, March 8

Real Aunties Day on March 8 celebrates more than your parents’ siblings and genealogy. This holiday provides an organic way to bring all the realness together, especially for Black, Brown, and Tan families and communities. We know that real aunties defy pronouns, are chosen kinfolk, sometimes biological, and some are ancestors. Aunties do the work in real life, physically, spiritually, and emotionally that deserve appreciation. We intentionally set March 8, International Women’s Day, which honors women’s hard work, as Real Aunties Day. March is Women’s History Month, a perfect time to remember aunts!

Cultural nuances about kinships, identity, and the intersectionalities of race, gender, and age are key to understanding how this holiday differs from other family holidays. Our family concept here expands the Euro-Anglo nuclear structure. We embrace Diasporan, global traditions where family is the community, and everyone is your kin. Real aunties are there for us with love, support, fun, and laughter. They bring a secret sauce that holds our communities together. Some aunts drive us crazy. Some aunts are trustworthy and are our go-to people. And best of all, aunts love being aunties!

#RealAuntiesDay History

This holiday was created in 2017 by Sylvia Wong Lewis as part of Auntyland, a media platform that centers on women and girls of color and explores multicultural aunt traditions through stories and events. Lewis believes that aunts are the most under-appreciated women globally, especially single women and those who did not birth children of their own. Aunts are expected to fill in the gaps with time, energy, and support. Most aunts enjoy and love the central role that they play in families and communities.

“This holiday is about decolonizing national holidays. We’re here to affirm. This is a reclamation! We want everyone to take one day, March 8 or the whole month of March, to pause, recognize, and show appreciation for all the hard work that aunties do,” said Lewis.

Lewis is grateful for her aunties, most of whom were Southerners, Caribbean, Black, Asian, Indigenous, Latinx, women in her Chinese, West Indian, Creole BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) Mississippi, Louisiana, Harlem, and Brooklyn family and community. Lewis credits her aunties with positive guidance and intervention at pivotal times in her life.

“My aunties helped me to achieve, recover, and thrive in many areas of my life. Creating this holiday is a way to say Thank you and ask the world to join us in giving a global shout-out to real aunties,” said Lewis, a proud auntie.

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