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Father's Day Around The World

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by Bryony Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
Published August 24th 2013
How Different Countries Celebrate

Unlike other celebrations that are isolated to particular cultures, Father's Day is practically a worldwide event. The only country I know that does not celebrate it, is Switzerland; dads over their get no day of love. Poor guys.

The earliest notion of a day for fathers goes back to Babylonian times when a boy called Elmesu carved a message for his father into a card made of clay, wishing him a long and healthy life. The tradition of giving cards continues to this day.

There is also a connection to Paganism and sun worship. The sun was seen as the father of the universe, which is one theory why so many countries celebrate Father's Day in June, to coincide with the summer solstice.

english breakfast
Bring your dad breakfast in bed.

Father's Day as we know it now, was invented by the American, Sonora Dodd, who thought Mother's Day should be complemented by a day honouring fathers. At first she was laughed at because it was mothers who were seen to be the nurturer's of children, but when the commercial potential was realised, Father's Day was added to the Calendar.

Bake your dad a cake.

In most countries, such as the USA, UK, Canada, India, Turkey, and so on, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June. My dad's lucky because his birthday is on the same week of that month, so he gets double celebrations.

There are numerous countries that celebrate on other dates as well though. For example, the next nearest coming Father's Day is on the 1st September in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Papa New Guinea. Father's Day is usually celebrated on a Sunday because it is a day of rest, meaning that dads don't have to go to work; this gives them plenty of time to spend with their children. It stems from the Christian belief that God (The Father) took six days to create the world, and then on Sunday rested up.

Not all cultures observe Christian religion, however, so in some countries Father's Day is on a fixed date. Thailand, for example, celebrate Father's Day on the 5th December, which is the birthday of their king, Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Trip idea: Take your dad to the Aquarium.

In most cases a traditional Father's Day involves children giving their dad cards, presents, or taking them out for special treats. The aspect of buying gifts stems from the commercial aspect of the holiday.

beer, bar
Celebrate Father's Day like a German - down at the pub.

Not all countries celebrate in the same way, however. In Germany, Father's Day is rather different. Instead of being a day specifically for fathers, 'Herrentag' is more about manhood and male social bonding; it often involves trips to the pub and lots of drinking.
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Why? Honour your father
When: UK 3rd Sunday in June, Australia 1st Sunday in September
Your Comment
Way to go Bryony! Congrats!
by SocialHummingBird (score: 3|1161) 1874 days ago
Congratulations, Bryony. I feel bad for those poor Swiss guys.
by Marlies@mbkedit (score: 1|78) 1874 days ago
nice article ;)
by Joy (score: 3|1900) 1880 days ago
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