top of page
Search

Father's Day Around the World

Updated: Jun 20, 2020



Hello!

Today we will be diving into the history and traditions of Father's Day from around the world. This will be a long post as I will be including a lot of information. I haven't included photos in this post as I think that they are not going to add anything to the information. :)

Enjoy!!


 

What is Father's Day?


Father's Day is a day of honoring fatherhood, paternal bonds as well as the influence of father's in society. In Catholic countries of Europe, it has been celebrated on March 19th (Saint Joseph's Day) since the middle ages. This celebration was brought by the Spanish and Portuguese to Latin America, where March 19th is often still used for it, thought many countries in Europe and the Americas have adopted the U.S. date, which is the third Sunday of June. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in the months of March, April and June according to the home nation's customs. It compliments similar celebrations honoring family members, such as Mother's Day, Siblings Day and Grandparent's Day.

 

History


It has been observed by archaeologists that Father’s Day is not some new phenomenon like many people believe it to be. Rather, they claim that Father’s Day is even referenced in ancient Babylonian ruins. The archaeologists recorded that a dutiful young boy by the name of Elmesu carved a Father’s Day message on an ancient clay Babylonian tablet around 4,000 years ago! It depicted a wish for his father to have good health and a long life. It’s unknown exactly what happened to Elmesu and his father, and it’s unlikely his message was accompanied by a bow-tie and golf club set, however, academics believe that this discovery indicates early tributes to fathers.


A customary day for the celebration of fatherhood in Catholic Europe is known to date back to at least 1508. It is usually celebrated on March 19th, as the feast day of Saint Joseph, who is referred to as the fatherly Nutritor Domini ("Nourisher of the Lord") in Catholicism and "the putative father of Jesus" in southern European Tradition. The celebration was brought to the Americas by the Spanish and Portuguese. The Catholic Church actively supported the custom of a celebration of fatherhood on Saint Joseph's Day from either the last years of the 14th century or from the early 15th century, apparently on the initiative of the Franciscans.

 

When was it established?


After Anna Jarvis' successful promotion of Mother's Day if Grafton, West Virginia, the first observance of a day honoring fathers was held on July 5, 1908, in Fairmont, West Virginia. Grace Golden Clayton was mourning the loss of her father, when in December 1907, the Monongah Mining Disaster in nearby Monongah killed 362 men and boys, 250 of them fathers and leaving around a thousand fatherless children. Grace Golden Clayton suggested that her pastor Robert Thomas Webb honor all those fathers. This event did not have any repercussions outside of Fairmont as there was no promotion of the celebration. It was also overshadowed by Independence Day, a Hot-Air balloon event and the death of a 16 year old girl. On June 19, 1910, a Father's Day celebration was held in Spokane, Washington by Sonora Smart Dodd. Her father, the civil war veteran William Jackson Smart was her inspiration behind this event. She had also heard Anna Jarvis' sermon for Mothers, and told her pastor that fathers should have a similar holiday to honor them. Several local clergymen accepted the idea and on June 19th 1910 the first Father's Day, "sermons honoring fathers were presented around throughout the city". It took many years for Father's Day to become something like Mother's Day and finally in 1972 a law was passed making Father's Day a permanent national holiday in the U.S.A.


In addition to Father's Day, International Men's Day is celebrated in many countries on November 19th in honor of men and boys.

 

When do Countries celebrate (and How?)


Africa


Algeria


In Algeria, the third Sunday in June is the dedicated day to celebrate Father's Day.


Kenya


In Kenya, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June and is not a public holiday


Morocco


In Morocco, the third Sunday in June is the dedicated day to celebrate Father's Day.


Mozambique


While Mozambique recognizes International Fathers' Day on June 16th in most small towns they consider Father's Day to be just about every Friday.


Seychelles


In Seychelles, Father's Day is celebrated on June 16th and is not a public holiday.


South Africa


In South Africa, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. It is not a public holiday.


South Sudan


In South Sudan, Father's Day is celebrated on the last Monday of August. President Salva Kiir Mayardit proclaimed it before August 27, 2012. First celebrated on August 27, 2012, Father's Day was not celebrated in South Sudan before 2011. (due to the country's independence)


Sudan


In Sudan, Father's Day is celebrated on the 21st of June.


Asia


China (PRC)


In the People's Republic of China, there is no official Father's Day. Some people celebrate on the third Sunday of June, according to the tradition of the United States. Father's Day is also celebrated in the special administrative regions. In Hong Kong and Macau, it is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday.


India


Father's Day is celebrated in all of India. But is observed the third Sunday of June by mostly westernized centers. The event is not a public holiday. The day is usually celebrated only in bigger cities. After this day was first observed in the United States in 1908 and gradually gained popularity, Indian metropolitan cities followed suit by recognizing this event. In India, this day is usually celebrated with children giving gifts like greeting cards, electronic gadgets, shirts, coffee mugs or books to their fathers.


Indonesia


In Indonesia, Father's Day is celebrated on November 12th and is not a public holiday. Father's Day in Indonesia was first declared in 2006. Because of its recent declaration, there is not very much hype about the celebration, compared to the celebration of Mother's Day on December 22nd.


Israel


In Israel, Father's Day is usually celebrated as part of Family Day on Shevat 30, though some celebrate on May 1st together with Workers' Day or Labour Day.


Japan


In Japan, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday.


Kazakhstan


Kazakhstan continues the Soviet Union's tradition of celebrating Defender of the Fatherland Day instead of Father's Day like in Russia and other former soviet countries. It is usually called "Man's Day" and it is considered the equivalent of Father's Day. It is celebrated on May 7th.


South Korea


In South Korea, Parent's Day is celebrated on May 8th and is not a public holiday.


Malaysia


In Malaysia, Father's Day falls on the third Sunday of June.


Mongolia


The Mongolian Men's Association began the celebration of Father's Day on August 8th 2005.


Nepal


The Newar population in Nepal honors fathers on the day of kusa aunsi, which occurs in late August or early September, depending on the year, since it depends on the lunar calendar. The Western-inspired celebration of Father's Day that was imported into the country is always celebrated on the same day as Gokarna Aunsi.


Pakistan


Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. The Rutgers WPF launched a campaign titles 'Greening Pakistan-Promoting Responsible Fatherhood' on Father's Day (Sunday June 18, 2017) across Pakistan to promote active fatherhood and responsibility for the care and upbringing of children. It is not a public holiday.


Philippines


In the Philippines, Father's Day is officially celebrated every third Sunday of June according to a recent presidential proclamation, but it is not a public holiday. It is more widely observed by the public on the 3rd Sunday of June perhaps due to American influence and a proclaimed in 1988 by Philippine President Corason Aquino.


Singapore


In Singapore, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June but is not a public holiday.


Sri Lanka


Father's Day is observed on the third Sunday of June. It is not a public holiday. Many schools hold special events to honor fathers.


Taiwan


In Taiwan, Father's Day s not an official holiday, but is widely observed on August 8th, the eighth day of the eighth month.


Thailand


In Thailand, the birthday of the king is set as Father's Day. December 5th is the birthday of the late king Bhumibol Adulyadej. Traditionally, Thais celebrate by giving their father or grandfather a canna flower, which is considered a masculine flower; however this is not as commonly practiced today. Thai people will wear yellow on this day to show respect for the late king, because yellow is the color of the day for Monday, the day King Bhumibol Adulyadej was born. Thais flood the Sanam Luang, a massive park in front of the palace, to watch the king give his annual speech, and often stay until the evening, when there is a national ceremony. Thais will light candles and show respect to the king by declaring their faith. This ceremony happens in almost every village in Thailand, and even overseas at Thai organizations.


Turkey


In Turkey, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June and is not a public holiday.


United Arab Emirates


In the United Arab Emirates, Father's Day is celebrated on June 21st, generally coinciding with midsummer's day.


Europe


Austria


In Austria, Father's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of June and it is not a public holiday.


Belgium


In Belgium, Father's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of June and it is not a public holiday. Except for Antwerp, where it's celebrated on March 19th.


Croatia


In Croatia, according to the Roman Catholic tradition, fathers are celebrated on Saint Joseph's Day March 19th. It is not a public holiday.


Denmark


In Denmark, Father's Day is celebrated on June 5th. It coincides with Constitution Day.


Estonia


In Estonia, Father's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of November. It is an established flag day and a national holiday.


Finland


In Finland, Father's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of November. It is an established flag day.


France


In France lighter manufacturer "Flaminaire" introduced the idea of father's day first in 1949 for commercial reasons. Director "Marcel Quercia" wanted to sell their lighter in France. In 1950, they introduced " la Fête des Pères", which would take place every third Sunday of June (following the American example). Their slogan - Nos papas nous l'ont dit, pour la fête des pères, ils désirent tous un Flaminaire- (Our daddies told us, for father's day, they all want a Flaminaire). In 1952, the holiday was officially decreed. A national father's day committee was set up to give a prize for fathers that deserved it most.


Greece


In Greece, the idea was by Sygapa association (divorced fathers) and the founder and President, professor Dr. Nicolas Spitalas in 2004 for introducing the father's role in society and in the schools. It took place every third Sunday of June. This day was made official in Greece in 2010 and added to the calendar because of activism of the members of Sygapa International.


Germany


In Germany, Father's Day is celebrated differently from other parts of the world. It is always celebrated on Ascension Day (the Thursday forty days after Easter), which is a federal holiday. Regionally, it is also called men's day; Männertag, or gentlemen's day; Herrentag. It is a tradition for groups of males (young and old but usually excluding pre-teenage boys) to do a hiking tour with one or more smaller wagons, Bollerwagen, pulled by manpower. In the wagons are wine ore beer bottles (according to the region) and traditional regional food, Hausmannskost. The tradition of Father's Day is especially prevalent in Eastern Germany.


Hungary


In Hungary, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday.


Ireland


In Ireland, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday.


Italy


In Italy, according to the Roman Catholic tradition, Father's Day is celebrated on Saint Joseph's Day, commonly called the Feast of Saint Joseph, March 19th. It was a public holiday until 1977.


Latvia


In Latvia, Father's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of September and is not a public holiday. in Latvia people did not always celebrate this day because of the USSR's influence with its own holiday's. This day in Latvia was 'officially born' in 2008 when it was celebrated and marked in the calendar for the first time on September 14th (second September Sunday) to promote the idea that man as the father must be satisfied and proud of his family and children, also the father is important to gratitude and loving words from his family for devoted to continuous altruistic concerns. Because this day is new to the country it does not have established unique traditions, but people borrow ideas from other country's Father's Day traditions to congratulate fathers in Latvia.


Lithuania


In Lithuania, Father's Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of June and is a public holiday.


Malta


Malta has followed the international trend and celebrates Father's Day on the third Sunday in June. The first mention of Father's Day was in June 1977, and the day is now part of the local events calendar.


The Netherlands


In the Netherlands (including its constituent countries in the Caribbean), Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday. Traditionally, as on Mother's Day, fathers get breakfast in bed made by their children and families gather together and have dinner, usually at the grandparents' house. At school, children handcraft presents for their fathers.


Norway


In Norway, Father's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of November. it is not a public holiday.


Poland


In Poland, Father's Day is celebrated on June 23rd and is not a public holiday.


Portugal


Father's Day is celebrated on March 19th. It is not a bank holiday.


Romania


The Law instituting the Father's day celebration in Romania passed on September 29, 2009 and stated that Father's day will be celebrated on the second Sunday of May. The first time it was celebrated on May 9th 2010.


Russia


Russia continues the Soviet Union's tradition of celebrating Defender of the Fatherland Day on February 23rd. It is usually called "Man's Day" and it is considered the Russian equivalent of Father's Day.


Slovakia


In Slovakia, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. It is not a public holiday.


Spain


Father's Day is observed on the feast day of Saint Joseph, which is March 19th. It is celebrated as a public holiday in some regions of Spain.


Sweden


In Sweden, Father's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of November, but is not a public holiday.


United Kingdom


In the United Kingdom, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. The day does not have a long tradition; The English Year (2006) states that it entered British popular culture "sometime after the Second World War, not without opposition".


Ukraine and Belarus


In Ukraine and Belarus, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June.


North America


Canada


In Canada, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday. Father's Day typically involved spending time with one's father or the father figures in one's life. Small family gatherings and the giving of gifts may be part if the festivities organized for Father's Day.


Costa Rica


In Costa Rica, the Unidad Social Cristiana party presented a bill to change the celebration of Father's Day from the third Sunday of June to March 19th, the day of Saint Joseph. That was to give tribute to this saint, who gave his name to the capital of the country San José, Costa Rica, so family heads will be able to celebrate Father's Day at the same time as the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker. The official date is still the third Sunday of June.


Haiti


In Haiti, Father's Day is celebrated on the last Sunday of June and is not a public holiday. Father's are recognized and celebrated on this day with cards, gifts, breakfast, lunch, brunch or early Sunday dinner; whether enjoying the day at the beach or mountains, spending family time or doing favourite activities.


Mexico


In Mexico, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday.


Trinidad and Tobago


In Trinidad and Tobago, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June and is not a public holiday.


United States


In the US, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. Typically, families gather to celebrate the father figures in their lived. In recent years, retailers have adapted to the holiday by promoting greeting cards and gifts such as electronics and tools. Schools (if in session) and other children's programs commonly have activities to make Father's Day gifts.


Oceania


Australia


In Australia, Father's Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of September, which is the first Sunday of Spring in Australia. It is not a public holiday.


New Zealand


In New Zealand, Father's Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of September and it is not a public holiday. Father's Day was first observed in Auckland on July 14, 1929 and first appeared in commercial advertising the following year. By 1931 other churches had adopted the day and in 1935 much of Australia moved to mark the day at the beginning of September. New Zealand followed this.


Samoa and American Samoa


In Samoa, Father's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in August, and is a recognized national holiday on the Monday following.


South America


Argentina


Father's Day in Argentina is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. Attempts have been made to change the date to August 24th, to commemorate the day on which the "Father of the Nation", José de San Martín, became a father. In 1953, the proposal to celebrate Father's Day in all educational establishments on August 24th, in honor of José de San Martín, was raised to the General Direction of Schools of Mendoza Province. The day was celebrated for the first time in 1958, on the third Sunday of June, but it was not included in the school calendars due to pressure from several groups. Schools in the Mendoza Province continued to celebrate Father's Day on August 24th and in 1982, the provincial governor passed a law declaring Father's Day in the province to be celebrated on that day.


Brazil


In Brazil, Father's Day is celebrated three months after Mother's DAy, on the second Sunday of August. Publicist Sylvio Bhering picked the day in honor of Saint Joachim, patron of fathers. While it is not an official holiday, it is widely observed and typically involves spending time with and giving gifts to one's father or father figure.


Colombia


In Colombia, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June.


Peru


In Peru, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday. People usually give a present to their fathers and spend time with him mostly during a family meal.


Venezuela


In Venezuela, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday. Traditionally, as on Mother's Day, families gather together and have lunch, usually at the grandparents' house. In recent years, families also started having lunch out, and as on Mother's Day, it is one of the busiest days for restaurants. At school, children handcraft their present for their fathers.

 

I know that was a crazy amount of information but I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about the History and Traditions of Father's Day. I really enjoyed doing the research for this post and I learned a few things that I never knew about. :)

 

4 views0 comments
bottom of page