Apparently, it was the Franciscans who came up with the idea of celebrating fatherhood and paternal bonds on St. Joseph’s Day (March 19) possibly as early as the 14th century, of course in honour 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 Europe.
Today, Father’s Day is held in most parts of the world, on various days throughout the year. It compliments similar celebrations paying homage to other family members, such as Mother’s Day, Siblings Day and Grandparent’s Day.
While it is a day celebrated throughout the world, there are vast differences per country, both as to how it ended up in the calendar in the first place and in how it’s celebrated.
In France, for example, the lighter manufacturer “Flaminaire” introduced the idea of father’s day first in 1949 for commercial reasons, wanting to boost sales. The holiday was officially decreed in 1952 for the third Sunday of June.
In Germany, Father’s Day is always celebrated on Ascension Day (the Thursday forty days after Easter), which is a federal holiday. Traditionally it is a day where groups of males do a hiking or biking tour, indulging heavily in the consumption of wine and beer. According to the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, alcohol-related traffic accidents multiply by three on this day. With Father’s Day being a Thursday and public holiday many schools and business close on the following Friday and people often use the resulting four-day-long weekend as a short vacation.
In New Zealand, Father’s Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of September. It was first observed in 1929 and appeared in commercial advertising from the following year. By 1935 much of Australia moved to celebrate on the same day, today coinciding with the first Sunday of spring. It is traditionally a family affair, with presents, cards and a shared meal.
International Men’s Day is celebrated on November 19 since the early 1990s, additionally to Father’s Day, to honour boys’ and men’s achievements and contributions, in particular for their roles in country, society, community, neighbourhood, family, marriage and child care.
Since it’s not long to go until Father’s Day in Australia I thought I’d shine some light on some of the goodies I have available to make Dad feel special