A Brief History of Father’s Day
With the earliest record of Father’s Day found in the ruins of Babylon, we now know that Father’s Day celebrations have been around for centuries.
However, in May of 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd of Washington, sat in church listening to a Mother’s Day sermon.
She decided she wanted to designate a day for her dad, William Jackson Smart, who was a Civil War veteran and had singlehandedly raised her and her five siblings. Originally, Dodd wanted to celebrate Father’s Day on June 5th, her father’s birthday, but the date was pushed back by two weeks. So, the first Father’s Day was officially celebrated on June 19, 1910.
At the first celebration, young women handed out red roses to their fathers during a church service.
While Congress was quick to declare the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day, it took much longer for Father’s Day to be legally recognized. It wasn’t until much later in 1972 that President Richard Nixon signed a law making it a permanent holiday.
Since then, Father’s Day has become a time to recognize the many different father figures in our lives.
The dates of the celebration of Father’s Day differ and the customs and traditions change from one country to another. Let’s take a look at some of the ways Father’s Day is celebrated around the world.
Father’s Day Celebrations in The United Kingdom
In the UK Father’s Day celebrations are on the third Sunday of June. People celebrate the occasion by buying gifts and spending quality time with their fathers.
Schools will usually organize Father’s Day parties where dads can show their talents and also take part in various games and activities. Children will make cards or arts and crafts for their dads and families will celebrate the usual way with meals and gifts.
Happy Father’s Day in Welsh: Sul y tadau hapus
Father’s Day Celebrations in China
Father’s Day is celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of June in mainland China with the usual gifts, dinners, and family outings. However, this wasn’t always the case, during WWII, Father’s Day was actually celebrated on August 8th.
The Republic of China wanted to celebrate the men who died and to honor the fathers. This tradition dropped off in the Mainland and the western celebration of Father’s Day was adopted. But, Taiwan and some smaller cities in China still honor the original “Father’s Day” in August.
I wish you a Happy Father’s Day in Chinese: 祝你父亲节快乐 (zhù nǐ fù qīn jié kuài lè)
Father’s Day Celebrations in India
Father’s Day is a new fairly new celebration in India. People in India observe Father’s Day on the third Sunday of June. Most Indian families generally prefer celebrating it by dining in restaurants or going out for a family picnic.
Cultural shows are also organized in schools and clubs to honor dads on this special day. This is a day for children to pay respect and for fathers to spend quality time with their families.
Happy Father’s Day in Hindi: पिता दिवस की शुभकामना (pita divas kee shubhakaamana)
Father’s Day Celebrations in Russia
Russia doesn’t exactly celebrate Father’s Day, the equivalent in Russia is a celebration that has evolved from a military event to a tribute to men who defend the peace of Russia.
February 23 is Defender of the Fatherland Day, which is usually celebrated by a parade for the Russian Armed Forces. Sometimes, the holiday is celebrated at home where families gather and give the men in their family presents.
I wish you a Happy Father’s Day in Russian- С днём отца!
Defender of the Fatherland Day- День защитника Отечества
Father’s Day Celebrations in Australia
Unlike other countries where Father’s Day celebrations are on the third Sunday in June, Father’s Day in Australia is celebrated on the first Sunday of September.
The date has been moved to September mostly for convenience’s sake, it was moved to later in the year because it gives consumers a break from the “shopping fatigue” of the holiday season.
Father’s Day in the land down under coincides with the start of Spring and is celebrated with family BBQs, gift-giving, and parties.
Happy Fathers Day in Australian: Happy Father’s Day Mate!
Father’s Day Celebrations in Thailand
The Southeast Asian country celebrates mothers on the birthday of Queen Sirikit and fathers on the birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej on December 5th.
On this date, the King gives an annual speech, while tradition has it that children give their fathers and grandfathers the Canna flower, which is considered to have a masculine association.
Happy Father’s Day in Thai: สุขสันต์วันพ่อ (S̄uk̄hs̄ạnt̒ wạn ph̀x)
Father’s Day Celebrations in Germany
Germany does things a bit differently. On the 40th day of Easter, Ascension Day.
German men have a tradition of celebrating Father’s Day on the holiday known as “Männertag” which translates to Man’s Day where men organize hikes and gatherings with plenty of beer and food.
Happy Father’s Day – German Alles Gute zum Vatertag!
Father’s Day Celebrations in France
Father’s Day in France is held on the third Sunday in June and became popular thanks to a company called “Flaminaire” in 1949. They made lighters and marketed them as gifts for smoking fathers, a few years later Father’s Day was recognized as a National Holiday.
Today, gifts and dinners have replaced lighters. But the idea of honoring one’s father can also be linked to the much older celebration of Saint Joseph on March 19.
Happy Father’s Day – French Bonne fête Papa!
Father’s Day Celebrations in Brazil
Father’s Day in Brazil is taken very seriously, as a family is vital to the culture. It’s also all about the meat, families gather together for large BBQs either at home or at a Brazilian steakhouse.
It is celebrated on the Second Sunday in August to honor Saint Joachim, the patron of fathers and grandfathers.
Father’s Day in Portuguese: Dia dos Pais
Father’s Day Celebrations in Mexico
Just like it does for Mother’s Day, Mexico puts on more festivities to honor its fathers than most places.
On the third Sunday in June, children give gifts to their fathers, then celebrate with food and music.
Some also participate in the 21-kilometer race in Mexico City, called the “Carrera Del Día del Padre“.
Happy Father’s Day in Spanish: Feliz día del padre.
Father’s Day Celebrations in Japan
In Japan, Father’s Day is on the third Sunday in June. Japanese children usually give their dads a small Father’s Day gift, like origami, sweets, food, and alcohol.
On this day, a huge fest is made with Japanese delicacies, and seafood is traditionally served.
Happy Father’s Day in Japanese: 父の日おめでとう Chichi no hi omedet.
Father’s Day Celebrations in Ireland
Father’s Day celebrations in Ireland take place on the third Sunday in June.
Like other countries, people in Ireland give their fathers gifts like cards, books, neckties, and wallets. Many take their fathers for picnics or go out for dinner.
Happy Father’s Day in Irish Gaelic: Lá na nAthaireacha faoi shona daoibh.
Whatever the date or the type of celebration, Father’s Day in some regard remains the same all over the world.
Fatherhood is both a demanding and gratifying endeavor. This holiday is an occasion to thank every person who has embraced the role of not only dads but also those who represent the father figures in our everyday lives.
If you are looking for a great Father’s Day gift, check out our Hair Health Solution.
If you are interested in Mother’s Day traditions from around the world, read our blog post: Mother’s Day around the World.