Father’s Day is celebrated worldwide to recognize the contribution that fathers and father figures make to the lives of their children. This day celebrates fatherhood and male parenting. Although it is celebrated on a variety of dates worldwide, many countries observe this day on the third Sunday in June.
What Do People Do?
The date when Father’s Day is celebrated varies from country to country. It is celebrated in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States on the third Sunday of June. It is also observed in countries such as Argentina, Canada, France, Greece, India, Ireland, Mexico, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, and Venezuela. In Australia and New Zealand Father’s Day is on the first Sunday in September. In Thailand it is celebrated on December 5, which is the birthday of the country’s king. Brazilian dads are honored on the second Sunday of August.
On Father’s Day many people make a special effort for their fathers or father figures. Some people visit their fathers, while others give cards, flowers or other gifts, such as clothing or sporting equipment, or luxury food items. Father’s Day is a relatively modern holiday, so different families have different traditions. These can range from a simple phone call or greetings card to large parties honoring all father figures in an extended family. Father figures can include fathers, step-fathers, fathers-in-law, grandfathers, great-grandfathers and even other male relatives.
Father’s Day in India is a relatively new concept but it is celebrated in similar ways as in the United Kingdom or the United States, although on a smaller scale. There is a greater awareness of Fathers Day events in metropolitan cities and bigger towns due to the greater exposure of people to the western cultures in these areas. In Mexico Father’s Day is referred to as “Día del Padre”, where many families get together, prepare meals and distribute gifts to fathers or father figures. In South Africa, many social and cultural societies host Father’s Day celebrations to stress the important role of fathers in nurturing children and building stronger society.
Father’s Day is not a federal holiday in most countries, with exception to Thailand because it falls on the same day as the King’s Birthday, which is a public holiday. For other countries, Father’s Day is on a Sunday, so public offices are closed on this day and very few organizations are open for business. Public transit systems run to their weekend schedules. It is important for people wanting to dine in a restaurant on Father’s Day to think about booking in advance because restaurants may be busier than usual, as many people take their fathers out for a treat.
Background and symbols
There are some suggestions that the idea of Father’s Day may originate in pagan sun worship. Some branches of paganism see the Sun as the father of the universe. The June solstice occurs around the same time of year as Father’s Day so some people see a link between the two.
The idea of a special day to honor fathers and celebrate fatherhood was introduced from the United States. There, a woman called Sonora Smart Dodd was inspired by the American Mother’s Day celebrations to plan a day to honor fathers. In the USA, Father’s Day has been celebrated in June since 1910. The celebrations in the United Kingdom and other countries are thought to have been inspired by the American custom of Father’s Day. This is in contrast to Mother’s Day, which has a very different history in the United States and the United Kingdom.