Happy Father’s Day!
Father’s Day is Sunday, June 17 this year. How do you celebrate your father’s Day (or, honor his memory)? On this page, you’ll find Father’s Day date in Different Countries, a short history of Father’s Day, great quotes, and delicious recipes.
What is Father’s Day?
Father’s Day is a celebration honouring 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 honouring family members, such as Mother’s Day, Siblings Day and Grandparents Day.
Father’s Day History
Like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day has a history that goes well beyond greeting cards.
The first known Father’s Day service occurred at the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South in Fairmont, West Virginia, on July 5, 1908, thanks to the efforts of Grace Golden Clayton. Mrs. Clayton had asked her pastor, Dr. R. Thomas Webb, if a Sunday service could be held to honor fathers.
While missing her own dad, who had died in 1896, Mrs. Clayton especially wanted to have a service in remembrance of the over 200 fathers who had died in the Monongah mining explosion that had occurred a few miles south of Fairmont on December 6 of the previous year. (It was the worst mining disaster in U.S. history, killing more than 360 men and boys, and leaving about 1,000 children fatherless.)
Although the Fairmont service was the first known to honor fathers, it did not turn into an annual event, nor was the idea promoted (a large July 4 celebration in Fairmont and a tragic young death from typhoid fever having taken over the news at the time).
When is Father’s Day and why do we celebrate it?
Father’s Day is always celebrated on the third Sunday in June in the United States and Canada. In 2018, Father’s Day falls on Sunday, June 17.
Each year in the UK Father’s Day takes place on the third Sunday of June – which falls on June 17 in 2018.
According to one tale, Father’s Day first began because of a woman named Grace Golden Clayton from Fairmount, West Virginia.
An orphan, Grace lobbied her local Methodist ministers for a church service to honour fathers in 1908.
The story goes that she was inspired to do this after a mining disaster killed 362 local men.
Their deaths orphaned more than 1,000 children and Grace wanted to pay tribute to the children’s dead fathers – as well as her own.
Another story involves the daughter of a civil war veteran, Sonora Smart Dodd, from Arkansas.
While listening to a sermon for Mother’s Day, Sonora became convinced of the need to celebrate dads too.
She then campaigned to her religious leaders for a special service dedicated to fathers.
In 1966, President Johnson designated that the third Sunday in June should be Father’s Day.
Six years later, Father’s Day was made a permanent national holiday in the US when, in 1972, President Richard Nixon signed it into law.
Why is the date of Father’s Day different in other countries?
While countries including the UK, Ireland, US, France, Cyprus, South Africa, Netherlands, Greece, Japan, Canada and Saudi Arabia celebrate Father’s Day every June, others have the day on a completely different date.
Instead, Australia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand celebrate their dads in September.
Many people believe that the celebration date is different in the southern hemisphere because June is their autumn, rather than their spring, and the day can be marketed better in the spring season.
Keep reading to learn about 10 other countries’ Father’s Day festivities.
In Thailand, Father’s Day has traditionally taken place on the birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, on Dec. 5. (Mother’s Day takes place on the birthday of Queen Sirikit in August.) The king typically gave a speech, and people would give canna flowers to their fathers and grandfathers. After Bhumibol’s death in 2016, his son took the throne, but it seems that Thais continue to honor their fathers on the late king’s birthday.
It is tradition for people to wear yellow on the day, because it is the colour of the day for Monday, and fathers and grandfathers would typically be gifted with a Canna flower, which is considered to have masculine association, although this is less commonly practised today.
La Fête des Pères is held on the third Sunday in June and reportedly became popular in the mid–20th century because of an ad campaign marketing lighters as the perfect gift for dads.
German men with their celebratory wagon on Vatertag.
In Germany, Father’s Day takes place on Ascension Day, the 40th day of Easter. Known as Vatertag, Mannertag and Herrentag in different regions, the day’s festivities often involve men dressing up in odd outfits and pulling wagons full of booze into the woods.
Brazilians celebrate Father’s Day on the second Sunday in August, in honor of St. Joachim, the father of Mary and patron saint of fathers and grandfathers. On this occasion, many families gather for gifts and churrasco.
Australians celebrate Father’s Day on the first Sunday in September with traditions like special meals, gifts and cards. The holiday is believed to date to the 1930s.
A parade marking Defender of the Fatherland Day in Moscow.
In Russia, there’s Defender of the Fatherland Day, a military celebration on Feb. 23 to commemorate the creation of the Red Army during the Russian civil war. The celebration involves parades honoring the armed forces, and women pay tribute to the men in their lives ― including fathers ― with small gifts.
Swedes celebrate Father’s Day in November. For the occasion, fathers might expect a traditional breakfast in bed, gifts and cake.
Like the U.S., Mexico celebrates Father’s Day on the third Sunday in June. El Dia del Padre features a 21-kilometer race in Mexico City called the Carrera del Día del Padre, as well as gift giving and delicious meals.
People perform rituals to honor their deceased fathers at a temple on the Bagmati River in Gokarna, Nepal.
The Nepalese religious rituals called Gokarna Aunsi, Kushe Aunsi or Buba ko mukh herne din take place in late summer. These occasions are special for fathers, as people spend time with their dads, offering food and gifts and praying for fathers who have died. Many people visit holy places like Gokarna to pray to the Hindu deity Shiva and perform rituals in honor of their deceased fathers.
Italians honor their fathers in conjunction with St. Joseph’s Day on March 19. This is true for celebrations in some other Catholic countries like Spain and Portugal. The holy day is associated with fathers because as Mary’s husband, St. Joseph was a father figure to Jesus Christ.
How is Father’s Day Celebrated?
People start the preparation of Father’s Days in advance. Some prepare beautiful hand made cards with inspirational quotations to express their love towards their dearest dad. Those who stay away from their father feel like spending that day with their dad. Hence, Father’s Day can also be termed as an occasion for reunion.
Generally, children present a bouquet of fresh flowers, a greeting card, a gift hamper, etc to their father. This can be made better by accompanying with his favorite breakfast, lunch or dinner. After such a beautiful start of the day, children usually spend a full day with dad by going out for a picnic or for a treat in a restaurant. Some people also like to throw a great party on Father’s Day and invite friends and relatives on this auspicious day.
Those who stay at home with their father try to assist them by completing pending works. To many children, this is the most special way of expressing affection for dad on Father’s Day and to let him know how that everything he does for the family is appreciated from the core of the heart.
5 Ways To Celebrate Father’s Day
1. Go beer tasting
London is home to many a distillery – from beer to gin – so a trip to a distillery for a tour and tasting could be the perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.
2. Make him a roast dinner
Nothing says ‘thank you’ more than cooking a delicious meal for someone. And cooking aroast dinner is the ultimate love language – make sure you don’t let him do the dishes.
3. Take him to a theatre show
Or a movie, or to see his favourite sports team. The options are endless and many tickets go for less than £20 – but he’ll cherish the time spent with you most of all.
4. Go on a weekend away together or a day trip
With many flights abroad costing less than your daily coffee habit, plan a weekend away for the pair of you to spend some real quality time together. Has your dad always wanted to go to Romania? Ireland? Portugal? Look out for cheap tickets and surprise him with a getaway.
5. Frame a photo and write a note
If all else fails, framing a favourite photo of the two of you is the perfect gift. Add a cute touch by writing a handwritten note about why this photo means something to you or your favourite memory of the pair of you – don’t be afraid to get too sentimental.
Dad’s Chicken and Rice
In addition to being a bona fide rocket scientist, my dad is a great cook (and a great dad). He’s tackled everything from baklava to tempura to grilled oysters to making waffles with his grandchildren. This is my favorite from his considerable repertoire. I never wanted to learn how to make it myself, because it was always his dish. Now I make it when I miss him or if I have to feed a crowd. (This recipe may be increased or decreased quite easily, and my sister Sarah always asks Dad to make a double batch.) Oh, and the crunchy crust that ideally forms on the bottom of the pan (the Spanish call it soccarat) is so worth the family fight it fosters. Traditionally, Dad sips a glass of red wine or gin while making this dish, but use your own discretion. He also uses a paper bag to dredge the chicken in flour. The bag usually has a small leak somewhere, so flour ends up all over the kitchen counter, the floor, and his clothing (including his eyeglasses). Consider yourself forewarned.
1 cup olive oil (approximately), divided
2 small onions, diced
3/4 cup flour
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 jalapeno peppers, minced
2 14.5-ounce cans chicken broth
1 green pepper
3-1/2 cups rice (approximately)
3 small tomatoes, cut into 8 wedges each
In a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot (cast iron works well) over medium heat, add ¼ cup olive oil and cook onions until softened. Remove onions from pan and reserve.
Place flour and chicken in a large paper bag and shake gently to coat chicken with flour. Raise heat to medium-high. Shake excess flour from chicken, and cook in pot in batches, adding more oil as needed (it may get quite dark, and that’s okay), until well browned on all sides. Then remove chicken to a plate. Stir in jalapenos and cook 1 minute.
Add reserved cooked onions and chicken back to pot. Add chicken broth, saving one empty can. Add 2 cans’ worth of water. Bring to a boil; then lower to a simmer. Cover and cook 25 minutes.
Slice top and bottom off green pepper. Carefully run a knife in a circular motion around the inside to remove white membrane and seeds (be careful not to puncture the pepper). Slice into thin rounds.
Add rice to pot, stirring well. Cover and cook 10 minutes. Layer pepper slices in a decorative pattern over mixture in pot, and top with tomatoes. Cover and cook 10 minutes more. Remove from heat and let sit 10 minutes before serving.
Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 105 minutes
Father’s Day Quotes
“A father’s a treasure, a brother’s a comfort, a friend is both.”
–Benjamin Franklin, American statesman (1706-90)
“My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.”
–Clarence Budington Kelland, American writer (1881-1964), about his father
“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.”
–Umberto Eco, Italian novelist (1932-2016)
“My father will leave me nothing to do.”
–A young Alexander the Great, future king of Macedonia (356-323 B.C.)
“His heritage to his children wasn’t words or possessions, but an unspoken treasure, the treasure of his example as a man and a father.”
–Will Rogers, Jr., American politician (1911–93)
“A father is someone you look up to no matter how tall you grow.”