Father’s Day

Father’s Day is the day of the year that is set aside to recognize the role of the father in our lives. In America, we recognize that this holiday is on the third Sunday in June, but the reserved day for Father’s Day changes from country to country. Fathers are one of the most structurally important pieces of any family. Today is a day to show your father some love and appreciation. If you’ve ever been interested in how this holiday came to be, now is your time to find out!

How Father’s Day Is Celebrated

Father’s Day is celebrated differently throughout various countries. People in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom all celebrate the holiday on the third Sunday of June. Other countries like New Zealand, Argentina, South Africa, Ireland, Singapore, and more celebrate Father’s Day on the first Sunday in September. Thailand celebrates Father’s Day on December 5th in honor of the birthday of the Thai king.

Father’s Day is celebrated very similarly in most countries. People will go out of their way to make an effort to celebrate and commemorate their fathers. Some send cards to their fathers, along with items like gifts, flowers, clothing, athletic gear, etc. Some people will go and visit their fathers and spend time with them, going out for drinks or dinner. 

Because Father’s Day is very modern compared to most holidays, the tradition differs from family to family. Sometimes, something as simple as a phone call is enough to honor one’s father. Those who don’t have biological fathers in their lives will often celebrate father figures in their life, such as step-fathers, grandfathers, fathers-in-law, or other male friends and relatives.

One of the last countries to start celebrating Father’s Day was India, though they now celebrate it very closely to how we do in the United States. Father’s Day seems to have the biggest presence in large cities, as there is more exposure to television and ad companies that promote the holiday.

Father’s Day in Mexico, or “Dia de Padre” as they refer to it, has celebrations rooted in family, like coming together, preparing large feasts, and providing gifts for the father figures of the family. There are cultural societies spread throughout South Africa that celebrate fathers, and they also use the day to stress the paternal role in a little one’s life.

It is not seen as a public holiday in most countries because it falls on Sundays. In most countries, many large businesses and public offices are closed down on Sundays regardless. 

A History Of Father’s Day

The celebration of fatherhood can be traced back to about 1508 in Catholic Europe. The feast day of Saint Joseph, which took place on March 19, inspired Father’s Day because  Saint Joseph was known as the “putative father of Jesus”. This Catholic celebration was eventually brought to America by Spanish settlers, and when Catholic churches began popping up, the holiday spread throughout the country. 

U.S. Father’s Day traditions began in the early 20th century as a complement to Mother’s Day, which was the holiday set aside to celebrate the maternal role of the family. One of the very first recorded Father’s Day celebrations was in Grafton, West Virginia in 1908. A woman by the name of Grace Golden Clayton was mourning her father’s death after he had been killed in a large mining disaster. She went to her pastor with an idea that there should be a day honoring fathers like there was for mothers. They agreed, and, even though she wanted the day to be June 5th like her father’s birthday, the pastors did not have enough time to get things ready, so they deferred the date to the third Sunday of June. 

Some believe that the very first Father’s Day took place in Washington State on June 19, 1910 after the holiday had made its way across the states. It wasn’t until 1924 that President Calvin Coolidge decided to recognize Father’s Day as an actual holiday. About 30 years later in 1956, Congress passed a joint resolution recognizing Father’s Day across the country. 

Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon would eventually make proclamations so that the observance of the holiday would be permanently established in the United States.

How To Celebrate Father’s Day

The best way to celebrate Father’s Day is to make sure that you plan ahead! You don’t want to wake up that morning and realize you don’t have anything planned! If you are planning to take your father out to dinner, you might want to make reservations ahead of time because many restaurants tend to fill up their reservation lists quickly for this date.

Start by thinking of the things that make your dad happy. Some dads like hanging around the house and not doing anything while others like to get out and explore. Try to plan an activity that is enjoyable for the both of you. If he likes golfing, take him golfing. If he likes cooking, take him to a cooking class. You get the idea! 

Most dads tend to do a lot of work around the house. A great way to show your dad appreciation is by doing some of his housework for him! Mow the yard, fix that leaky faucet, or do his dry cleaning. Remember, even simple gestures can mean the world if done genuinely!

Make sure to get your family involved, too! If you have brothers or sisters, get in touch with them and see if there is something that you can all pitch in on, such as plan a party or pay for a large gift. The most important thing is that the day feels joyful!

If you use social media, make sure to tag #NationalFathersDay to spread the love!

Return The Favor

No matter who you celebrate on Father’s Day, make sure he knows how he made your life better with his love and support. Let him know that, now, you are his love and support. You father is one of the first people that teaches you about love, so let him see how well you listened.

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.”

  • Jim Valvano