Despite it being a USA tradition many countries around the world have adopted Fathers’ Day as a convention, and it is mostly celebrated on the third Sunday in June.
This year this very important day falls on 21st June and most UK dads will be expecting a tribute from their children.
The origin of Father’s Day is rooted in the United States at the start of the 20th century when a woman from Washington State, Sonora Smart-Dodd, pushed to establish an official equivalent of Mother’s Day. She went all over the state to raise support for her proposal and successfully got the State Governor to pass a law establishing the celebration of the first Father’s Day in America on July 19, 1910.
Little did she know that, fifteen years later, in 1924, her initiative would lead American President Calvin Coolidge, who liked the idea of a national holiday, to urge state governments to make the third Sunday in June Father’s Day.
Given the acceptance and success of this day in the U.S., the holiday was adopted by countries around the world over the years. But not all, as the honouring of Fathers has religious implications in many Catholic Countries.
Like many European countries, Spain’s holiday calendar is heavily influenced by the church. Father’s Day (El Día del Padre in Spanish) is celebrated in Spain on St. Joseph’s Day which falls on March 19th. St. Joseph’s Day is a Roman Catholic feast day designated to commemorate the life of Joseph, husband of Mary, who set the example of what a good husband and father is for his role within the Holy Family. Saint Joseph is also the patron saint of the Catholic Church, immigrants, workers, carpenters, as well as other groups and causes.
Until recently, Father’s Day was a national holiday in Spain. This holiday is still considered to be extremely important in Spain as it acknowledges the contribution of fathers within the family and society as a whole. It is also the time to honour those family members and friends who fulfill the role of father-figures. In Spain, it is not uncommon for the whole family to get together for a big meal and to give small gifts to their father.
But whatever its origins, this has become a valuable day for retailers of greetings cards and menswear, and there are plenty of on-line shopping sites that offer gifts for every type of Father.
Personalised items such as a blue heritage badge to fix on the outside of the house, to named golf balls make an amusing present. I have also seen a beer glasses inscribed with how to order a pint in numerous languages and a wolf’s head with synchronised mouth to scare the children: what will they think of next? Actually my father used to scare us children with an impression of a nasty biting pig, chasing us up the stairs.
Whatever you chose to give, or your family opts to give you, it is a good day to remember the contribution that Fathers make to the family. And to make fathers feel appreciated.