Father's Day

Father's Day
Father's Day
Observed by Many countries
Type Historical
Date In Australia-First Sunday in September,Third Sunday in June (many countries) and other dates
Related to Mother's Day, Parents' Day, Children's Day

Father's Day is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. Many countries celebrate it on the third Sunday of June but it is also celebrated widely on other days. Father's Day 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. The first observance of Father's Day actually took place in Fairmont, West Virginia on July 5, 1908. It 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. It is possible that Clayton was influenced by the first celebration of Mother's Day that same year, just a few miles away. Clayton chose the Sunday nearest to the birthday of her recently deceased father. Unfortunately, the day was overshadowed by other events in the city, West Virginia did not officially register the holiday, and it was not celebrated again. Instead, credit for Father's Day went to Sonora Dodd from Spokane, who invented independently her own celebration of Father's Day just two years later, also influenced by Jarvis' Mother's Day. Clayton's celebration was forgotten until 1972, when one of the attendants to the celebration saw Nixon's proclamation of Father's Day, and worked to recover its legacy. The celebration is now held every year in the Central United Methodist Church, as the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was torn down in 1922. Fairmont is now promoted as the "Home of the First Father's Day Service".[1]

A bill to accord national recognition of the holiday was introduced in Congress in 1913.[2] 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.[3] 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.[4] 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".[4] In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day.[3] Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.[3][4] In addition to Father's Day, International Men's Day is celebrated in many countries on November 19 for men and boys who are fathers.


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,[5] 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,[2] and it was still spelled the same way when its creator was commended in 2008 by the U.S. Congress.[6]

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.

Gregorian calendar
Occurrence Dates Country

February 23

 Russia (Defender of the Fatherland Day)*

March 19

 Andorra (Dia del Pare)
 Italy (Festa del Papà)

 Portugal (Dia do Pai)
 Spain (Día del Padre, Dia del Pare, Día do Pai)
 Antwerp (Belgium)

Second Sunday of May

May 9, 2010
May 8, 2011
May 13, 2012

 Romania[8] (Ziua Tatălui)

May 8

 South Korea (Parents' Day)

Third Sunday of May

May 16, 2010
May 15, 2011
May 20, 2012


Ascension Day

May 13, 2010
Jun 2, 2011
May 17, 2012


First Sunday of June

June 6, 2010
June 5, 2011
June 3, 2012

 Lithuania (Tėvo diena)

June 5

 Denmark[9] (also Constitution Day)

Second Sunday of June

June 13, 2010
June 12, 2011
June 10, 2012


Third Sunday of June

June 20, 2010
June 19, 2011
June 17, 2012

 Antigua and Barbuda
 Brunei Darussalam

 People's Republic of China**  Colombia
 Costa Rica[11]
 Czech Republic

 Hong Kong

 Puerto Rico
 Saint Lucia
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

 South Africa
 Sri Lanka
 Trinidad and Tobago
 United Kingdom
 United States

June 17

 El Salvador[18]


June 21 (first day of summer)


June 23



Second Sunday of July

July 11, 2010
July 10, 2011
July 8, 2012


Last Sunday of July

July 25, 2010
July 31, 2011
July 29, 2012

 Dominican Republic

Second Sunday of August

August 8, 2010
August 14, 2011
August 12, 2012


August 8

 Republic of China (Taiwan)

First Sunday of September

September 5, 2010
September 4, 2011
September 2, 2012


 New Zealand
 Papua New Guinea

Second Sunday of September

September 12, 2010
September 11, 2011
September 9, 2012


Third Sunday of September

September 19, 2010
September 18, 2011
September 16, 2012


First Sunday of October

October 3, 2010
October 2, 2011
October 7, 2012


12 November

Indonesia Indonesia

Second Sunday of November

November 14, 2010
November 13, 2011
November 11, 2012

 Finland (Isänpäivä)


December 5

 Thailand (The birthday of King Bhumibol)[21]

December 26


Hindu calendar
Definition Sample dates Country/Territory

Bhadrapada Amavasya

August 29, 2011

 Nepal[22] Buwaako Mukh Herne Din or बुवाको मुख हेर्ने दिन (कुशे औंशी)

Islam calendar
Definition Sample dates Country/Territory

13 Rajab

June 16, 2011



*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.[citation needed]
**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

In a few Catholic countries, it is celebrated on the Feast of St. Joseph.[citation needed]

Arab world

It's celebrated on 21 June, the first day of summer. This is because Mother's Day in those countries is celebrated in the first day of spring.


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.[10]

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.[24]

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.[24]

In 2004, several proposals to change the date to August 24 were presented to the Argentine Camara de Diputados as a single, unified project.[24] 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.[25]


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.[26]


In Brazil Father's Day is celebrated 3 months after Mother's Day, on the second Sunday of August. A publicist Sylvio Bhering in the mid-1950s selected the date in honor of Saint Joachim, patriarch of family (as well as the Catholic day of godfathers).


In Canada, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday. Father's Day typically involves spending time with one's father or the father figures in one's life. Small celebrations and the giving of gifts may be part of 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 the day from the third Sunday of June to March 19, the day of Saint Joseph.[27] 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.[11] The official date is still third Sunday of June.


In Denmark, Father's Day is celebrated on June 5.[9] It coincides with Constitution Day, which is a public holiday.


Hiking/drinking tour on Herrentag

In Germany, Father's Day (Vatertag) is celebrated differently from other parts of the world.[28][29] 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, especially in the north and east of the country but much less so in the south and west, 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 or beer (according to region) and traditional regional food, Hausmannskost. Many men use this holiday as an opportunity to get drunk.[29]

These traditions are probably rooted in Christian Ascension Day's processions to the farmlands,[30][31] some of which reportedly took on the character of drinking sprees as early as in the 17th century.[30] Similar "gentlemen parties" have also taken place in the streets of urban areas, especially Berlin, since the 19th century.[30] However, many fathers opt to spend the day with their families instead and refrain from getting drunk.[30][31] Many people will take the following Friday off at work, and some schools are closed on that Friday as well; many people then use the resulting four-day long weekend for a short vacation.

Hong Kong

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


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


In Ireland (in both the North and the Republic), Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday.


Father's day in Iran is celebrated on the 13th of Rajaab, the birthday of the First Imam of Islam, Ali.


In Italy, according to the Roman Catholic tradition, fathers are celebrated on Saint Joseph's Day, commonly called Feast of Saint Joseph ("Festa di San Giuseppe"), March 19. It is not a public holiday.


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


In Korea, Parents' day is celebrated on 8 May and is not a public holiday.


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


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


The Newar population (natives of Kathmandu valley) in Nepal honors fathers on the day of Gokarna 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 in the same day as Gokarna Aunsi.

The rest of the population has also begun to celebrate the Gokarna Aunsi day [32] It is commonly known as Abu ya Khwa Swoyegu in Nepal Bhasa or Buwaako mukh herne din in Nepali (literally "day for looking at father’s face").[22][33] On the new moon day (Amavasya) Hindus go to the Shiva temple of Gokarneswor Mahadev, in Gokarna, a suburb of Kathmandu while Buddhists go to Jana Bahal (Seto Machhindra Nath or white Tara) temple in Kathmandu to pay respect to their deceased father.[32]

New Zealand

In New Zealand, Father's Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of September and is not a public holiday.


In Pakistan, there is no concept of a Father's Day. Only those having had some American influence and connection follow the American third Sunday of June as a father's day, and that too in families that are settled overseas.

The Philippines

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 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.


In Poland, Father's Day is celebrated on June 23.


Father's Day is celebrated on March 19 (see Roman Catholic tradition below) in Portugal. Father's Day is not a bank holiday.

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.[34] It is also common for Catholics to honor their "spiritual father," their parish priest, on Father's Day.[35]


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.[8] Romanian Father's day for 2012 will be celebrated on May 13.


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


Father's Day, El Día del Padre, is observed on the Feast day of Saint Joseph, which is March 19.[36] As a Saint's Day, banks and many stores close.


In Taiwan, 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 . 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 Holiday" (爸爸節).


In Thailand, Father's Day is set as the birthday of the king.[21] 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. 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.[21] Mother's Day is celebrated on the birthday of Queen Sirikit,[21] August 12.

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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

United States

In the United States, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. Its first celebration was in Spokane, Washington on June 19, 1910.[37] Other festivities honoring fathers had been held in Fairmont and in Creston, but the modern holiday did not emerge from those.[citation needed]

Modern Father's Day was invented by Sonora Smart Dodd, born in Arkansas, 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.[5] 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.

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.[citation needed]

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.[38][39] Also, calls during both Mother's Day and Father's Day tend to last longer.[38]

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.[39]


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.[40][41][42] 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.[40][41][42]

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.[40]

See also

Calendar icon.svg Holidays portal


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  2. ^ a b "Father to have his day". The New York Times. October 3, 1913. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9A0DE1DF133FE633A25750C0A9669D946296D6CF. "(...) a bill providing that "The first Sunday in June in each and every year hereafter be designated as Father's Day (...)"" 
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  6. ^ "H. RES. 1274. Commending Sonora Smart Dodd for her contribution in recognizing the importance of Father's Day and recognizing the important role fathers play in our families.". Library of Congress. June 12, 2008. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:H.+Res.+1274:. 
  7. ^ "Se instituye el Día del Padre, Decreto Número 13". February 9, 1960. Archived from the original on August 9, 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070809095817/http://www.honduraseducacional.com/Leyes/decretos.htm#SE_INSTITUYE_EL_DIA_DEL_PADRE_. Retrieved July 19, 2008.  (Spanish)
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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Father's Day — n a day on which people give cards and presents to their father …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Father's Day — Father s ,Day noun count or uncount a special Sunday in June when people give a card or present to their father …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Father's Day — 1910, begun in Spokane, Washington, U.S., but not widespread until 1943; an imitation of Mother s Day …   Etymology dictionary

  • Father's Day — ☆ Father s Day n. the third Sunday in June, a day set aside (in the U.S.) in honor of fathers …   English World dictionary

  • Father's Day — a day, usually the third Sunday in June, set aside in honor of fathers. * * * ▪ holiday       in the United States, holiday (third Sunday in June) to honour fathers. Credit for originating the holiday is generally given to Sonora Smart Dodd of… …   Universalium

  • Father's Day — noun US: third Sunday in June • Hypernyms: ↑day • Part Holonyms: ↑June * * * noun, pl ⋯ Days [count, noncount] : the third Sunday in June treated as a special day for honoring fathers * * * ˈFather s Day [Father s Day] …   Useful english dictionary

  • Father's Day — UK / US noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms Father s Day : singular Father s Day plural Father s Days a special Sunday in June when people give a card or present to their father …   English dictionary

  • Father's Day — {n.} The third Sunday in June set aside especially to honor fathers whether living or dead. * /The children gave nice presents to their father on Father s Day./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • Father's Day — {n.} The third Sunday in June set aside especially to honor fathers whether living or dead. * /The children gave nice presents to their father on Father s Day./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • Father's\ Day — noun the third Sunday in June set aside especially to honor fathers whether living or dead. The children gave nice presents to their father on Father s Day …   Словарь американских идиом

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