This Sunday, June 18th is Father’s Day. With good luck, the weather will be just right for a nice backyard barbecue or some time on the lake or maybe a round of golf with Dad. These we are all familiar with. However, in other places they have very different traditions for Father’s Day. Let’s see what other people do for Dear Old Dad on his special day!
When did we start celebrating Father’s Day, anyway?
Opinions vary on this, but either in 1908 or 1910. According to some, the practice began in 1908 in a coal mining town in West Virginia. The day was set aside to remember 362 men who died in a mine disaster the previous December. This was a one-time event.
According to others, a Spokane Washington woman, Sonora Smart Dodd heard a very moving sermon on Mother’s Day. That lead her to propose a special day to celebrate fathers. There are also scholars who believe that the tradition may have started as early as 4000 years ago in Babylon. A young boy inscribed a clay tablet with wishes to his father of good luck and long life.
Whichever origin appeals to you, Father’s Day became an official American holiday in 1972.
When in June do other countries celebrate?
Other countries celebrate Father’s Day on different dates. In Italy, Spain and Portugal, June 19th is always Father’s Day. June 19 is St. Joseph’s Day, a catholic holiday. St. Joseph, the father of Jesus Christ is the patron saint of the dying as well as of the universal church, according to catholic.org.
Then there is Russia, where, on February 23, they celebrate men in general. The day is called Defender of the Fatherland Day. The day is for honoring soldiers. The women give their men gifts, whether or not the men are dads. Nice work if you can get it.
Our conclusion, our Dads deserve a special day, so go out and enjoy your Dad!