Father's Day Around the World
Father's Day is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. In Catholic Europe, it has been celebrated on March 19 (St. Joseph's Day) since the Middle Ages. This celebration was brought by the Spanish and Portuguese to Latin America, where March 19 is often still used for it, though many countries in Europe and the Americas have adopted the U.S. date, which is the third Sunday of June (falling on June 17 in 2018). It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in the months of March, April and June. It complements similar celebrations honoring family members, such as Mother's Day, Siblings Day and Grandparents Day.
History and traditions
A customary day for the celebration of fatherhood in Catholic Europe is known to date back to at least the Middle Ages, and it is observed on 19 March, as the feast day of Saint Joseph, who is referred to as the fatherly Nutritor Domini ("Nourisher of the Lord") in Catholicism and "the putative father of Jesus" in southern European tradition. This celebration was brought to the Americas by the Spanish and Portuguese, and in Latin America, Father's Day is still celebrated on 19 March. The Catholic church actively supported the custom of a celebration of fatherhood on St. Joseph's day from either the last years of the 14th century or from the early 15th century, apparently on the initiative of the Franciscans.
In the Coptic Church, the celebration of fatherhood is also observed on St Joseph's Day, but the Copts observe this celebration on July 20. This Coptic celebration may date back to the fifth century.
In the US
Father's Day was not celebrated in the US, outside Catholic traditions, until the 20th century. As a civic celebration in the US, it was inaugurated in the early 20th century to complement Mother's Day by celebrating fathers and male parenting.
After Anna Jarvis' successful promotion of Mother's Day in Grafton, West Virginia, the first observance of a "Father's Day" was held on July 5, 1908, in Fairmont, West Virginia, in the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South, now known as Central United Methodist Church. Grace Golden Clayton was mourning the loss of her father, when in December 1907, the Monongah Mining Disaster in nearby Monongah killed 361 men, 250 of them fathers, leaving around a thousand fatherless children. Clayton suggested that her pastor Robert Thomas Webb honor all those fathers.
Clayton's event did not have repercussions outside Fairmont for several reasons, among them: the city was overwhelmed by other events, the celebration was never promoted outside the town itself and no proclamation of it was made by the city council. Also, two events overshadowed this event: the celebration of Independence Day July 4, 1908, with 12,000 attendants and several shows including a hot air balloon event, which took over the headlines in the following days, and the death of a 16-year-old girl on July 4. The local church and council were overwhelmed and they did not even think of promoting the event, and it was not celebrated again for many years. The original sermon was not reproduced by the press and it was lost. Finally, Clayton was a quiet person, who never promoted the event and never talked to other persons about it.
Failed attempts at establishing a Father's Day
In 1911, Jane Addams proposed that a citywide Father's Day celebration be held in Chicago, but she was turned down.
In 1912, there was a Father's Day celebration in Vancouver, Washington, suggested by Methodist pastor J. J. Berringer of the Irvington Methodist Church. They mistakenly believed that they had been the first to celebrate such a day. They followed a 1911 suggestion by the Portland Oregonian.
Harry C. Meek, a member of Lions Clubs International, claimed that he had first come up with the idea for Father's Day in 1915. Meek said that the third Sunday in June was chosen because it was his birthday. The Lions Club has named him the "Originator of Father's Day". Meek made many efforts to promote Father's Day and make it an official holiday.
Establishment of the holiday
On June 19, 1910, a Father's Day celebration was held at the YMCA in Spokane, Washington by Sonora Smart Dodd. Her father, the civil war veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who raised his six children there. She was also a member of Old Centenary Presbyterian Church (now Knox Presbyterian Church), where she first proposed the idea. After hearing a sermon about Jarvis' Mother's Day in 1909 at Central Methodist Episcopal Church, she told her pastor that fathers should have a similar holiday to honor them. Although she initially suggested June 5, her father's birthday, the pastors did not have enough time to prepare their sermons, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday in June. Several local clergymen accepted the idea, and on June 19, 1910, the first Father's Day, "sermons honoring fathers were presented throughout the city".
However, in the 1920s, Dodd stopped promoting the celebration because she was studying at the Art Institute of Chicago, and it faded into relative obscurity, even in Spokane. In the 1930s, Dodd returned to Spokane and started promoting the celebration again, raising awareness at a national level. She had the help of those trade groups that would benefit most from the holiday, for example the manufacturers of ties, tobacco pipes, and any traditional present for fathers. By 1938, she had the help of the Father's Day Council, founded by the New York Associated Men's Wear Retailers to consolidate and systematize the holiday's commercial promotion. Americans resisted the holiday for its first few decades, viewing it as nothing more than an attempt by merchants to replicate the commercial success of Mother's Day, and newspapers frequently featured cynical and sarcastic attacks and jokes. However, the said merchants remained resilient and even incorporated these attacks into their advertisements. By the mid-1980s, the Father's Day Council wrote, "(...) [Father's Day] has become a Second Christmas for all the men's gift-oriented industries."
A bill to accord national recognition of the holiday was introduced in Congress in 1913. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane to speak at a Father's Day celebration and he wanted to make it an officially recognized federal holiday, but Congress resisted, fearing that it would become commercialized. US President Calvin Coolidge recommended in 1924 that the day be observed throughout the entire nation, but he stopped short at issuing a national proclamation. Two earlier attempts to formally recognize the holiday had been defeated by Congress. In 1957, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a Father's Day proposal accusing Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, thus "[singling] out just one of our two parents". In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.
In addition to Father's Day, International Men's Day is celebrated in many countries on November 19 in honor of men and boys who are not fathers.
In the United States, Dodd used the "Fathers' Day" spelling on her original petition for the holiday, but the spelling "Father's Day" was already used in 1913 when a bill was introduced to the U.S. Congress as the first attempt to establish the holiday, and it was still spelled the same way when its creator was commended in 2008 by the U.S. Congress.
International history and traditions
Father's Day in Argentina is celebrated on the third Sunday of June.
There have been attempts to change the date to August 24, to commemorate the day on which the Father of the Nation José de San Martín became a father. In 1953, the proposal to celebrate Father's Day in all educational establishments on August 24, in honor of José de San Martín, was raised to the General Direction of Schools of Mendoza Province. The day was celebrated for the first time in 1958, on the third Sunday of June, but it was not included in the school calendars due to pressure from several groups.
Schools in the Mendoza Province continued to celebrate Father's Day on August 24, and, in 1982, the provincial governor passed a law declaring Father's Day in the province to be celebrated on that day.
In 2004, a proposal to change the date to August 24 were presented to the Argentine Chamber of Deputies as a single, unified project.
In Aruba, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday.
In Australia, Father's Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of September, which is the first Sunday of Spring in Australia, and is not a public holiday. At school, children handcraft their present for their fathers. Consumer goods companies have all sorts of special offers for fathers: socks, ties, electronics, suits, and men's healthcare products. Most families present fathers with gifts and cards, and share a meal to show appreciation, much like Mother's Day.
YMCA Victoria continues the tradition of honouring the role fathers and father figures play in parenting through the annual awarding of Local Community Father of the Year in 32 municipalities in Victoria. The Father's Day Council of Victoria annually recognises fathers in the Father of the Year Award.
In Austria, Father's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of June and it is not a public holiday.
In Belgium, Father's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of June and it is not a public holiday.
In Brazil Father's Day (Dia dos Pais, in Portuguese) is celebrated three months after Mother's Day, on the second Sunday of August. Publicist Sylvio Bhering picked the day in honor of Saint Joachim, patron of fathers. While it is not an official holiday (see Public holidays in Brazil), it is widely observed and typically involves spending time with and giving gifts to one's father or father figure.
In Canada, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday. Father's Day typically involves spending time with one's father or the father figures in one's life. Small family gatherings and the giving of gifts may be part of the festivities organized for Father's Day.
In People's Republic of China, the official Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday. This date was set according to international norms.
Prior to the People's Republic, when the Republic of China (1912-1949) governed from Nanjing, Father's Day was celebrated on August 8. This was determined by the fact that the eighth (ba) day of the eighth (ba) month makes two "eights" (八八, ba-ba), which sounds similar to the colloquial word for "daddy" (ba-ba，爸爸). It is still celebrated on this date in areas still under the control of the Republic of China, including in Taiwan.
In Costa Rica, the Unidad Social Cristiana party presented a bill to change the celebration of Father's Day from the third Sunday of June to March 19, the day of Saint Joseph. That was in order to give tribute to this saint, who gave his name to the capital of the country San José, Costa Rica, and so family heads will be able to celebrate the Father's Day at the same time as the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker. The official date is still the third Sunday of June.
In Croatia, according to the Roman Catholic tradition, fathers are celebrated on Saint Joseph's Day (Dan svetog Josipa), March 19. It is not a public holiday.
In Denmark, Father's Day is celebrated on June 5. It coincides with Constitution Day.
In Estonia, Father's day ("Isadepäev") is celebrated on the second Sunday of November. It is an established flag day and a national holiday.
In Finland, Father's Day (Isänpäivä, Fars dag) is celebrated on the second Sunday of November. It is an established flag day.
In France lighter manufacturer "Flaminaire" introduced the idea of father's day first in 1949 for commercial reasons. Director "Marcel Quercia" wanted to sell their lighter in France. In 1950, they introduced "la Fête des Pères", which would take place every third Sunday of June (following the American example). Their slogan « Nos papas nous l'ont dit, pour la fête des pères, ils désirent tous un Flaminaire » (Our fathers told us, for father's day, they all want a Flaminaire). In 1952, the holiday was officially decreed. A national father's day committee was set up to give a prize for fathers that deserved it most (originally, candidates were nominated by the social services of each town hall's/mayor's office); This complements "la Fête des Mères" (Mother's day) which was made official in France in 1928 and added to the calendar in Vichy in 1941.
In Germany, Father's Day (Vatertag) is celebrated differently from other parts of the world. It is always celebrated on Ascension Day (the Thursday forty days after Easter), which is a federal holiday. Regionally, it is also called men's day, Männertag, or gentlemen's day, Herrentag. It is tradition for groups of males (young and old but usually excluding pre-teenage boys) to do a hiking tour with one or more smaller wagons, Bollerwagen, pulled by manpower. In the wagons are wine or beer (according to region) and traditional regional food, Hausmannskost. Many men use this holiday as an opportunity to get drunk. According to the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, alcohol-related traffic accidents multiply by three on this day. The tradition of Father's Day is especially prevalent in Eastern Germany.
These traditions are probably rooted in Christian Ascension Day's processions to the farmlands, which has been celebrated since the 18th century. Men would be seated in a wooden cart and carried to the village's plaza, and the mayor would award a prize to the father who had the most children, usually a big piece of ham. In the late 19th century the religious component was progressively lost, especially in urban areas such as Berlin, and groups of men organized walking excursions with beer and ham. By the 20th century, alcohol consumption had become a major part of the tradition. Many people will take the following Friday off at work, and some schools are closed on that Friday as well; many people then use the resulting four-day-long weekend for a short vacation.
Father's Day, is observed on the feast day of Fathers, It is celebrated as a public international day, the third Sunday of June. In Europe like on the world, is becomme a manifestation of divorced fathers and this day is inaugurate by the Professor Dr Nicolas Spitalas (http://spitalas.blogspot.com) who created the International Movement of Dads. His Association SYGAPA (Men's and Father's Dignity (www.sos-sygapa.eu) is the bigest movement on the world (35.000 members). In Greece, like in Europe, this day is named (Fête des Peres/Feast of Fathers)
In Haiti, Father's Day (Fête des peres) is celebrated on the last Sunday of June and is not a public holiday. Fathers are recognized and celebrated on this day with cards, gifts, breakfast, lunch brunch or early Sunday dinner; whether enjoying the day at the beach or mountains, spending family time or doing favourite activities .
Children exclaim "bonne fête papa", while everyone wishes all fathers "bonne Fête des Pères". (Happy Father's Day)
In Hong Kong, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday.
In Hungary, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday.
Father's Day is not celebrated in all of India. But is observed the third Sunday of June by mostly westernized urban centers. The event is not a public holiday. The day is usually celebrated only in bigger cities of India like Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad and others. After this day was first observed in the United States in 1908 and gradually gained popularity, Indian metropolitan cities, much later, followed suit by recognising this event. In India, the day is usually celebrated with children giving gifts like greeting cards, electronic gadgets, shirts, coffee mugs or books to their fathers.
In Indonesia, Father's Day is celebrated on November 12 and is not a public holiday. Father's Day in Indonesia was first declared in 2006 in Solo City Hall attended by hundreds of people from various community groups, including people from community of inter-religion communication. Because of its recent declaration, there is not very much hype about the celebration, compared to the celebration of Mother's Day on December 22.
In Ireland, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday.
In Israel, Father's Day is usually celebrated on May 1 together with Workers' Day or Labour Day.
In Italy, according to the Roman Catholic tradition, fathers are celebrated on Saint Joseph's Day, commonly called Feast of Saint Joseph (Festa di San Giuseppe), March 19. It was a public holiday until 1977.
In Japan, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday.
Kazakhstan continues the Soviet Union's tradition of celebrating Defender of the Fatherland Day instead of Father's Day like in Russia and other former soviet countries. It is usually called "Men's Day" and it is considered equivalent of Father's Day. In Kazakhstan this day is celebrated on May 7.
In Kenya, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday.
In South Korea, Parents' day is celebrated on May 8 and is not a public holiday.
In Latvia, Father's Day (Tēvu diena) is celebrated on the second Sunday of September and is not a public holiday. In Latvia people did not always celebrate this day because of the USSR's influence with its own holidays. This day in Latvia was 'officially born' in 2008 when it was celebrated and marked in the calendar for the first time on September 14 (second September Sunday) to promote the idea that man as the father must be satisfied and proud of his family and children, also, the father is important to gratitude and loving words from his family for devoted to continuous altruistic concerns. Because this day is new to the country it does not have established unique traditions, but people borrow ideas from other country's Father's Day traditions to congratulate fathers in Latvia.
In Lithuania, Father's Day (Tėvo diena) is celebrated on the first Sunday of June and is a public holiday.
In Macau, Father's Day (Dia do Pai) is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday.
In Malaysia, Father's Day falls on the third Sunday of June.
Malta has followed the international trend and celebrates Father’s Day on the third Sunday in June. As in the case of Mother’s Day, the introduction of Father’s Day celebrations in Malta was encouraged by Frans H Said (Uncle Frans of the children’s radio programmes). The first mention of Father’s Day was in June 1977, and the day is now part of the local events calendar. (The Times of Malta 11 June 2017) ( Il-Mument - Maltese newspaper- 18 June 2017)
In Mexico, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday.
The Mongolian Men's Association began the celebration of Father's Day on 8 of August since 2005.
Main article: Gokarna Aunsi
The Newar population (natives of Kathmandu valley) in Nepal honors fathers on the day of kusa aunsi, which occurs in late August or early September, depending on the year, since it depends on the lunar calendar. The Western-inspired celebration of Father's Day that was imported into the country is always celebrated on the same day as Gokarna Aunsi.
The rest of the population has also begun to celebrate the Gokarna Aunsi day It is commonly known as Abu ya Khwa Swoyegu in Nepal Bhasa or Buwaako mukh herne din (बुवाको मुख हेर्ने दिन) in Nepali (literally "day for looking at father's face"). On the new moon day (Amavasya) it is traditional to pay respect to one's deceased father; Hindus go to the Shiva temple of Gokarneswor Mahadev, in Gokarna, a suburb of Kathmandu while Buddhists go to Jan Bahal (Seto Machhendranath or white Tara) temple in Kathmandu.
Traditionally, in the Kathmandu Valley, the south-western corner is reserved for women and women-related rituals, and the north-eastern is for men and men-related rituals. The worship place for Mata Tirtha Aunsi ("Mother Pilgrimage New Moon") is located in Mata Tirtha in the south-western half of the valley, while the worship place for Gokarna Aunsi is located in the north-eastern half. This division is reflected in many aspects of the life in the Kathmandu Valley.
In the Netherlands, Father's Day (Vaderdag) is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday. Traditionally, as on Mother's Day, fathers get breakfast in bed made by their children and families gather together and have dinner, usually at the grandparents' house. In recent years, families also started having dinner out, and as on Mother's Day, it is one of the busiest days for restaurants. At school, children handcraft their present for their fathers. Consumer goods companies have all sorts of special offers for fathers: socks, ties, electronics, suits, and men's healthcare products.
In New Zealand, Father's Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of September and it is not a public holiday. Fathers' Day seems to have been first observed at St Matthew's Church, Auckland on 14 July 1929 and first appeared in commercial advertising the following year. By 1931 other churches had adopted the day. In 1935 much of Australia moved to mark the day at the beginning of September and New Zealand followed, with a Wellington advert in 1937, a Christchurch Salvation Army service in 1938 and in Auckland from 1939.
In Norway, Father's day (Farsdag), is celebrated on the second Sunday of November. It is not a public holiday.
Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. The Rutgers WPF launched a campaign titled 'Greening Pakistan – Promoting Responsible Fatherhood' on Father's Day (Sunday June 18, 2017) across Pakistan to promote active fatherhood and responsibility for the care and upbringing of children. Father's Day is not a public holiday in Pakistan.
In Peru, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday. People usually give a present to their fathers and spend time with him mostly during a family meal.
In the Philippines, Father's Day is officially celebrated every first Monday of December, but it is not a public holiday. It is more widely observed by the public on the 3rd Sunday of June perhaps due to American influence.
In Poland, Father's Day is celebrated on June 23 and is not a public holiday.
Father's Day ("Dia do Pai") is celebrated on March 19 (see Roman Catholic tradition below) in Portugal. Father's Day is not a bank holiday.
Roman Catholic tradition
In the Roman Catholic tradition, Fathers are celebrated on Saint Joseph's Day, commonly called the Feast of Saint Joseph, March 19, though in certain countries Father's Day has become a secular celebration. It is also common for Catholics to honor their "spiritual father," their parish priest, on Father's Day.
The Law instituting the Father's day in Romania passed on September 29th, 2009 and stated that the Father's day will be celebrated annually on the second Sunday of May. This was first time celebrated on May 9th 2010. This year this will be celebrated on 13 May 2018. The next days this celebration will take place are: 12 May 2019, 10 May 2020, 9 May 2021, 8 May 2022, 14 May 2023, 12 May 2024 and 11 May 2025. .
Russia continues the Soviet Union's tradition of celebrating Defender of the Fatherland Day instead of Father's Day. It is usually called "Men's Day" and it is considered the Russian equivalent of Father's Day.
American Samoa and Samoa
In Samoa, Father's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in August, and as a recognised national holiday on the Monday following.
In Seychelles, Father's Day is celebrated on June 16 and is not a public holiday.
In Singapore, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June but is not a public holiday.
In Slovakia, Father's Day (In slovak: deň otcov) is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. It is not a public holiday.
In South Africa, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. It is not a public holiday.
In South Sudan, Father's Day is celebrated on the last Monday of August. The president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, proclaimed it before August 27, 2012. First celebrated on August 27, 2012, Father's Day was not celebrated in South Sudan in 2011 due to the country's independence.
Father's Day, El Día del Padre, is observed on the feast day of Saint Joseph, which is March 19. It is celebrated as a public holiday in some regions of Spain.
Father's Day (In sinhala : Piyawarunge dhinaya, පියවරුන්ගේ දිනය & in Tamil: Thanthaiyar Thinam, தந்தையர் தினம்), is observed on the third Sunday of June. It is not a public holiday. Many schools hold special events to honor fathers.
In Sudan, Father's Day (عيد الأب), is celebrated on the twenty-first of June.
In Sweden, Father's day (Fars dag), is celebrated on the second Sunday of November, but is not a public holiday.
In Taiwan, Father's Day is not an official holiday, but is widely observed on August 8, the eighth day of the eighth month of the year. In Mandarin Chinese, the pronunciation of the number eight is bā, and the pronunciation is very similar to the character "爸" "bà", which means "Pa" or "dad". The eighth day of the eighth month (bā-bā) is a pun for dad (爸爸 or "bàba"). The Taiwanese, therefore, sometimes refer to August 8 as "Bābā Holiday" as a pun for "Dad's Holiday" (爸爸節) or the more formal "Father's Day" (父親節).
In Thailand, the birthday of the king, is set as Father's Day. December 5 is the birthday of the late king Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX). Traditionally, Thais celebrate by giving their father or grandfather a canna flower (ดอกพุทธรักษา Dok Buddha Ruksa), which is considered a masculine flower; however, this is not as commonly practiced today. Thai people will wear yellow on this day to show respect for the late king, because yellow is the color of the day for Monday, the day King Bhumibol Adulyadej was born. Thais flood the Sanam Luang, a massive park in front of the palace, to watch the king give his annual speech, and often stay until the evening, when there is a national ceremony. Thais will light candles and show respect to the king by declaring their faith. This ceremony happens in almost every village in Thailand, and even overseas at Thai organizations.
It first gained nationwide popularity in the 1980s as part of a campaign by Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanonda to promote Thailand's royal family. Mother's Day is celebrated on the birthday of Queen Sirikit, August 12.
Trinidad and Tobago
In Trinidad and Tobago, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June and is not a public holiday.
In Turkey, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June and is not a public holiday.
United Arab Emirates
In United Arab Emirates, Father's Day is celebrated on June 21, generally coinciding with midsummer's day.
In the United Kingdom Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. The day does not have a long tradition; The English Year (2006) states that it entered British popular culture "sometime after the Second World War, not without opposition".
United States of America
In the US, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. Typically, families gather to celebrate the father figures in their lives. In recent years, retailers have adapted to the holiday by promoting greeting cards and gifts such as electronics and tools. Schools (if in session) and other children's programs commonly have activities to make Father's Day gifts. The U.S. Open golf tournament is scheduled to finish on Father's Day, as was the 2016 NBA Finals.
In Ukraine, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of September.
VenezuelaIn Venezuela, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday. Traditionally, as on Mother's Day, families gather together and have lunch, usually at the grandparents' house. In recent years, families also started having lunch out, and as on Mother's Day, it is one of the busiest days for restaurants. At school, children handcraft their present for their fathers. Consumer goods companies have all sorts of special offers for fathers: electronics, suits, and men's healthcare products.