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For other uses, see Father's Day (disambiguation).
Father's Day is a widely known celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. It is celebrated on the third Sunday of June in many countries and on other days elsewhere. It complements Mother's Day, the celebration honoring mothers.
Father's Day is a celebration of fathers inaugurated in the early twentieth century to complement Mother's Day in celebrating fatherhood and male parenting. It is also celebrated to honor and commemorate our forefathers. Father's Day is celebrated on a variety of dates worldwide and typically involves gift-giving, special dinners to fathers, and family-oriented activities. Contrary to popular belief, the first observance of Father's Day actually took place in Fairmont, West Virginia on July 5, 1908. The special day was organized by Mrs. Grace Golden Clayton, who wanted to celebrate the lives of the 210 fathers who had been lost in the Monongah Mining disaster several months earlier in Monongah, West Virginia, on December 6, 1907. The First Father's Day Church, now the Central United Methodist Church, still stands in Fairmont today.
Various other sources believe (possibly because West Virginia did not officially register the holiday.) that the first Father's Day was held nearly two years later on June 19, 1910 through the efforts of Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington. After listening to a church sermon at Spokane's Central Methodist Episcopal Church in 1909 about the newly recognized Mother's Day, Dodd felt strongly that fatherhood needed recognition, as well. She wanted a celebration that honored fathers like her own father, William Smart, a Civil War veteran who was left to raise his family alone when his wife died giving birth to their sixth child when Sonora was 16 years old.
The following year with the assistance of Reverend Dr. Conrad Bluhm, her pastor at Old Centenary Presbyterian Church (now Knox Presbyterian Church), Sonora took the idea to the Spokane YMCA. The Spokane YMCA, along with the Ministerial Alliance, endorsed Dodd’s idea and helped it spread by celebrating the first Father’s Day in 1910. Sonora suggested her father’s birthday, June 5, be established as the day to honor all Fathers. However, the pastors wanted more time to prepare, so on June 19, 1910, young members of the YMCA went to church wearing roses: a red rose to honor a living father, and a white rose to honor a deceased one. Dodd traveled through the city in a horse-drawn carriage, carrying gifts to shut-in fathers confined indoors by illness.
It took many years to make the holiday official. In spite of support from the YWCA, the YMCA, and churches, Father's Day ran the risk of disappearing from the calendar. Where Mother's Day was met with enthusiasm, Father's Day was often met with laughter. The holiday was gathering attention slowly, but for the wrong reasons. It was the target of much satire, parody and derision, including jokes from the local newspaper Spokesman-Review. Many people saw it as the first step in filling the calendar with mindless promotions.
A bill to accord national recognition of the holiday was introduced in Congress in 1913. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane to speak in a Father's Day celebration and wanted to make it official, but Congress resisted, fearing that it would become commercialized. US President Calvin Coolidge recommended in 1924 that the day be observed by the nation, but stopped short of issuing a national proclamation. Two earlier attempts to formally recognize the holiday had been defeated by Congress. In 1957, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a proposal accusing Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, thus "[singling] out just one of our two parents" In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.
In 2010, the Father's Day Centennial Celebration occurs in Spokane with a month of events commemorating the day.
In addition to Father's Day, International Men's Day is celebrated in many countries on November 19 for men and boys who are not fathers.
The Associated Men's Wear Retailers formed a National Father's Day Committee in New York City in the 1930s, which was renamed in 1938 to National Council for the Promotion of Father's Day and incorporated several other trade groups. This council had the goals of legitimizing the holiday in the mind of the people and managing the holiday as a commercial event in a more systematic way, in order to boost the sales during the holiday. This council always had the support of Dodd, who had no problem with the commercialization of the holiday and endorsed several promotions to increase the amount of gifts. In this aspect she can be considered the opposite of Anna Jarvis, who actively opposed all commercialization of Mother's Day.
The merchants recognized the tendency to parody and satirize the holiday, and used it to their benefit by mocking the holiday on the same advertisements where they promoted the gifts for fathers. People felt compelled to buy gifts even though they saw through the commercial façade, and the custom of giving gifts on that day became progressively more accepted. By 1937 the Father's Day Council calculated that only one father in six had received a present on that day. However, by the 1980s, the Council proclaimed that they had achieved their goal: the one-day event had become a three-week commercial event, a "second Christmas". Its executive director explained back in 1949 that, without the coordinated efforts of the Council and of the groups supporting it, the holiday would have disappeared. lox
Although the name of the event is usually understood as a plural possessive (i.e. "day belonging to fathers"), which would under normal English punctuation guidelines be spelled "Fathers' Day," the most common spelling is "Father's Day," as if it were a singular possessive (i.e. "day belonging to Father"). In the United States, Dodd used the "Fathers' Day" spelling on her original petition for the holiday, but the spelling "Father's Day" was already used in 1913 when a bill was introduced to the U.S. Congress as the first attempt to establish the holiday, and it was still spelled the same way when its creator was commended in 2008 by the U.S. Congress.
Dates around the world
The officially recognized date of Father's Day varies from country to country. This section lists some significant examples, in order of date of observance.
Second Sunday of May
May 10, 2009
May 9, 2010
May 8, 2011
Third Sunday of May
May 17, 2009
May 16, 2010
May 15, 2011
May 21, 2009
May 13, 2010
First Sunday of June
June 7, 2009
June 6, 2010
June 5, 2011
June 3, 2012
Lithuania (Tevo diena)
Second Sunday of June
June 14, 2009
June 13, 2010
June 12, 2011
Third Sunday of June
June 21, 2009
June 20, 2010
June 19, 2011
June 17, 2012
Second Sunday of July
July 12, 2009
July 11, 2010
July 10, 2011
Last Sunday of July
July 26, 2009
July 25, 2010
Second Sunday of August
August 9, 2009
August 8, 2010
August 14, 2011
First Sunday of September
September 6, 2009
September 5, 2010
September 4, 2011
Third Sunday of September
September 20, 2009
September 19, 2010
September 18, 2011
September 16, 2012
First Sunday of October
October 4, 2009
October 3, 2010
October 2, 2011
Second Sunday of November
November 8, 2009
November 14, 2010
November 13, 2011
June 18, 2008
*Officially, as the name suggests, the holiday celebrates people who are serving or were serving the Russian Armed Forces (both men and women). But the congratulations are traditionally, nationally accepted by all fathers, other adult men and male children as well.
**In China during Republican period prior to 1949, Father's Day on August 8 was first held in Shanghai in 1945.
**In China during Republican period prior to 1949, Father's Day on August 8 was first held in Shanghai in 1945.
International history and traditions
Father's Day in Argentina is celebrated on the third Sunday of June, but there have been several attempts to change the date to August 24, 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 24, 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 24, and, in 1982, the Provincial Governor passed a law declaring Father's Day in the province to be celebrated on that day.
In 2004, several proposals to change the date to August 24 were presented to the Argentine Camara de Diputados as a single, unified project. After being approved, the project was passed to the Senate of Argentina for final review and approval. The Senate changed the proposed new date to the third Sunday of August, and scheduled the project for approval. However, the project was never addressed during the Senate's planned session, which caused its ultimate failure.
In Australia, Father's Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of September and is not a public holiday. YMCA Victoria continues the tradition of honouring the role fathers, and father figures play in parenting through the annual awarding of Local Community Father of the Year in 32 municipalities in Victoria. The Father's Day Council of Victoria annually recognise fathers in the Father of the Year Award.
In Costa Rica the Unidad Social Cristiana party presented a bill to change the celebration of the day from the third Sunday of June to March 19, the day of Saint Joseph. That was in order to give tribute to this saint, who gave the name to the capital of the country San José, Costa Rica, and so family heads will be able to celebrate the Father's Day at the same time as the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker. The official date is still third Sunday of June.
In Denmark, Father's Day is celebrated on June 5. It coincides with Constitution Day, which is a public holiday.
In Germany, Father's Day (Vatertag) 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 tradition to do a males-only hiking tour with one or more smaller wagons, Bollerwagen, pulled by manpower. In the wagons are wine or beer (according to region) and traditional regional food, Hausmannskost. Many men will use this holiday to get very drunk, so usually groups of drunk people roam the streets all day. These traditions are probably rooted in Christian Ascension Day's processions to the farmlands, some of which reportedly took on the character of drinking sprees as early as in the 17th century. In the streets of urban regions, especially Berlin, "gentlemen parties" take place since the 19th century, excluding women and going along with alcohol consumption. However, some fathers also spend the day with their families and refrain from getting drunk.
In countries of Hindu tradition, the western-inspired Father's Day is celebrated on the new moon day (Amavasya) during late August or early September, to fit the existing Hindu worship of fathers. This is common among countries with Hindu majorities like in India and Nepal.
Main article: Public holidays in Japan
In Japan, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday.
In Seychelles, Father's Day is celebrated on the 16th day of June and is not a public holiday.
Main article: Gokarna Aunsi
The Hindu population in Nepal worships fathers in Gokarna Aunsi (literally "Father's Day"), which happens in late August or early September. Also know as Bubako mukh herne din (translates as "looking at father’s face"), In the new moon day (Amavasya) many people go to the Shiva temple of Gokarneswor Mahadev, in Gokarna, a suburb of Kathmandu.
The date of the Western-inspired Father's Day was moved in Nepal to August 23 to fit this pre-existing Hindu festival.
In New Zealand, Father's Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of September and is not a public holiday.
In the Philippines, Father's Day is not an official holiday, but is widely observed on the 3rd Sunday of June. Most Filipinos born in the 1960s and 1970s did not celebrate Father's day but due to being under the influence of the United States (due to its colonization) as seen on television, the Filipinos most likely follow this tradition and other American holidays. The advent of the internet also helps in promoting this holiday to the Filipinos.
Roman Catholic tradition
In the Roman Catholic tradition, Fathers are celebrated on Saint Joseph's Day, commonly called Feast of Saint Joseph, March 19, though in certain countries Father's Day has become a secular celebration. It is also common for Catholics to honor their "spiritual father," their parish priest, on Father's Day.
Beginning with 2010, in Romania, Father's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May and it is recognized officially by the state. Out of the 27 states in the European Union, it was the only one without an official Father's Day. Law 319/2009 was passed thanks to the campaigning from the Alliance Fighting Discrimination Against Fathers (TATA).
In Singapore, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June but is not a public holiday.
Republic of China (Taiwan)
Main article: Public holidays in the Republic of China
In the Republic of China, Father's Day is not an official holiday, but is widely observed on August 8, the eighth day of the eighth month of the year. In Mandarin Chinese, the pronunciation of the number 8 is bā. This pronunciation is very similar to the character "爸" "bà", which means "Papa" or "father". The Taiwanese, therefore, usually call August 8 by its nickname, "Bābā Day" (爸爸節).
In Thailand, Father's Day is set as the birthday of the king. December 5 is the birthday of the current king, Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX). Traditionally, Thais celebrate by giving their father or grandfather a Canna flower (ดอกพุทธรักษา Dok Buddha Ruksa), 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 king, because yellow is the Color of the day for Monday, the day king Bhumibol Adulyadej was born. In 2007, king Bhumibol Adulyadej was seen leaving the hospital wearing a baby pink blazer leaving the hospital. Today, Thais wear pink instead of the yellow.
It first gained nationwide popularity in the 1980s as part of a campaign by Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanonda to promote Thailand's royal family. Mother's Day is celebrated on the birthday of Queen Sirikit, August 12.
Fathers' Day in the UK is celebrated on the third Sunday of June.
United States of America
In the US, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. Its first celebration was in Spokane, Washington on June 19, 1910. Other festivities honoring fathers had been held in Fairmont and in Creston, but the modern holiday did not emerge from those.
Modern Father's Day was invented by Sonora Smart Dodd, born in Creston, Washington, who was also the driving force behind its establishment. Her father, the Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who reared his six children in Spokane, Washington. She was inspired by Anna Jarvis's efforts to establish Mother's Day. Although she initially suggested June 5, her father's birthday, she did not provide the organizers with enough time to make arrangements, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June. The first June Father's Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, WA, at the Spokane YMCA.
Unofficial support from such figures as William Jennings Bryan was immediate and widespread. President Woodrow Wilson was personally feted by his family in 1916. President Calvin Coolidge recommended it as a national holiday in 1924. In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson made Father's Day a holiday to be celebrated on the third Sunday of June. The holiday was not officially recognized until 1972, during the presidency of Richard Nixon.
In recent years, retailers have adapted to the holiday by promoting greeting cards and traditionally male-oriented gifts such as electronics and tools. Schools and other children's programs commonly have activities to make Father's Day gifts.
More phone calls are made in the United States during Mother's Day than during Father's Day, but the percentage of collect calls on Father's Day is much higher, making it the busiest day of the year for collect calls. Also, calls during both Mother's Day and Father's Day tend to last longer.
Father's Day is accompanied by a smaller total number of phone calls, greeting cards and gifts than Mother's Day. It is speculated that this is due to the greater number of households with a mother than households with a father (due to single mothers), to the greater role of mothers in unpaid household labor, and to different personal or societal expectations.
It is also a well known American tradition for companies (especially tax and accounting firms) to allow their workers to dress down the Friday before Fathers day.
The first modern celebration of a "Father's Day" was held on July 5, 1908, in Fairmont, West Virginia, in the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South, now known as Central United Methodist Church. Clayton was mourning the loss of her father when, on December 1907, the Monongah Mining Disaster in nearby Monongah killed 361 men, 250 of them fathers, leaving around a thousand fatherless children. Clayton suggested her pastor Robert Thomas Webb to honor all those fathers. Grace Golden Clayton chose the Sunday nearest to the birthday of her father, Methodist minister Fletcher Golden.
The event did not have repercussions outside of Fairmont for several reasons, among them: the city was overwhelmed by other events, the celebration was never promoted outside of the town itself and no proclamation was made in the City Council. Also two events overshadowed this event: the celebration of Independence Day July 4, 1908, with 12,000 attendants and several shows including a hot air balloon event, which took over the headlines in the following days, and the death of a 16 year old girl on July 4. The local church and Council were overwhelmed and they didn't even think of promoting the event, and it wasn't celebrated again for many years. The original sermon was not reproduced in press and it was lost. Finally, Clayton was a quiet person, who never promoted the event or even talked to other persons about it.
Clayton also might have been inspired by Anna Jarvis' crusade to establish Mother's Day; two months prior, Jarvis had held a celebration for her dead mother in Grafton, West Virginia, a town about 15 miles (24 km) away from Fairmont.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Father's Day
- Father's Day at the Open Directory Project
- Proclamations by US Presidents on Father's Day, from George W. Bush and Bill Clinton
This page was last modified on 6 December 2010 at 16:19.