Happy Father’s Day
Father’s Day is celebrated worldwide to recognise the contribution that fathers and father figures make to the lives of their children. Although it is celebrated on a variety of different dates around the world, many countries observe the day on the third Sunday in June and most countries celebrate in a similar manner by giving gifts and doing family activities.
Father’s Day celebrates fatherhood and male parenting.
Father’s Day is a relatively modern concept. It was first celebrated as a holiday in June 1966 in the USA when President Lyndon Johnson chose it to be celebrated on the third Sunday of June. The day was not officially recognised however until 1972, during the presidency of Richard Nixon.
Since it first appeared as a celebration in the USA it has been adopted since by many countries and now Father’s Day is the 4th largest card-selling occasion in the world with 87 million cards given every year.
In Spain, Italy and Portugal, Father’s Day is celebrated on 19 March, which is the Feast of St. Joseph who is the patron saint of fathers.
In Germany, Father’s Day is celebrated on the same date as Ascension Day (the 40th day after Easter). The day is also known as Men’s Day and it is tradition for groups of males to organise hiking trips and head off into nature with plenty of beer, wine and food, pulled along in decorated handcarts called Bollerwagon.
In Japan, handmade crafts including origami, sweets and beer glasses, are traditionally given by children to their fathers. Families usually celebrate with a seafood-based meal, most commonly consisting of crab and prawns.
In Russia they continue the Soviet Union’s tradition of celebrating Defender of the Fatherland on 23 February, which has evolved from a military tribute to a commemoration of father figures. Soldiers were typically honoured with parades across the country, and the day now often involves festivals with music, dancing and games and men receiving small gifts from the women in their lives.
In Finland, fathers enjoy a lie in and are brought their favourite breakfast in bed! Schools often also join in by having cakes and coffee in honour of all fathers on the Friday preceding Father’s Day.
Mexico marks Father’s Day in much the same way as we do in the UK, with gifts and celebratory meals and in addition some fathers also take part in the city-wide 21-kilometre race, called the ‘Carrera Día del Padre’, which takes place at the Bosque de Tlalpan, a protected natural area which is used for outdoor recreation.
It will be more difficult to celebrate Father’s Day this year in the usual way, but we can now at least have a small, ‘socially distanced’ get-together in the garden/outside and show them how much we care.
Whatever you do: Stay Safe and Stay Well.