Father's Day Celebrations Around the World

Father's day celebration in Netherlands
Some feel one day is just not enough. Some feel that it is great to have a separate day that honors them. Some go all out to express their love for them. Others just do it with a tight, long hug. Find out how the world makes that 'one day' special for their Daddies, by celebrating Father's Day - their way, their style.
You know... fathers just have a way of putting everything together. -- Erika Cosby 'Animal Dreams'
Nothing you say or do will ever level your score with what your father has done for you, unless you buy him a private island somewhere in Hawaii. Still, you would fall a million points short of coming close to a draw! But never a win!

Then again, fathers never want their kids to level scores with them. Fathers are just wired that way, to love unconditionally, to never expect anything in return, and to do nothing but the best for their children. But who doesn't like a surprise once in a while? Who doesn't yearn a word or two of appreciation and acknowledgment? Father's Day is the one day (mind you, not just the 'only day') when you can make your Daddy Dearest feel extra-special, extra-loved, extra-pampered, and extra-gifted. Children all around the world follow different traditions and sometimes come up with their own ideas to celebrate Father's Day. Know how fathers around the world are thanked, and take a cue or two to celebrate your old man.

Say it With Flowers

Girl with flower basket

Known as Chichi No Hi in Japan, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June every year. Flowers are an integral part of the Japanese culture. Kids in Japan add that touch of tradition to the Father's Day celebrations, and start the day by presenting him with flowers.

Later, throughout the day, kids present their fathers with special handmade gifts, like beer glasses, Japanese sweets, and origami craft items. A meal, usually lunch or dinner, is organized, where the entire family gets together to celebrate the father figures.

An interesting fact is that, Japan doesn't manufacture any Father's Day cards at all.

Father's Day at Dad's Expense!

Collect call overload

A tradition that has gained popularity over the years in the United States of America is kids placing collect calls for their fathers. Annually, the number of collect calls recorded on this day is the highest. Other presents that make it to the list of 'gifts for dad' are greeting cards, electronic goods, perfumes, flowers, and sweets.

It was in the United States of America where the idea to set aside a separate day to celebrate 'fatherhood', was born. The entire credit for founding Father's Day goes to an American woman, Sonora Smart Dodd, daughter of an American Civil War veteran, William Jackson Smart. Sonora was inspired by the idea of Mother's Day, which was a relatively new recognition. She was deeply inspired by her father, and held him in the highest regard. She filed a petition to celebrate her father's birthday (5th of June) as Father's Day. Instead, the third Sunday of June was chosen.

Father's Day is a big deal in the US, and is also a public holiday. The celebrations begin at least a week or two in advance. The US retail market, over the years, has adapted to the festivities around this day. Huge discounts, promotional offers, and sales on goods that are likely to be purchased for men, fathers in particular, are organized.

Look at Your Father's Face

Look at your father's face

Hindus regard their fathers as their teacher, protector, and savior. The Nepalese celebrate Father's Day or Kushe Aausi, Pitritarpani Aausi or Gokarna Aausi with as much pomp and excitement as they would celebrate their New Year. There is no fixed date on which Father's Day is celebrated in Nepal. The date changes every year, and it usually falls in late August or early September, depending upon the year and the lunar calendar.

It is known as Babu ko Mukh herne din in Nepalese, which literally translates to 'looking at your father's face day.'

Kids in Nepal pay their respects, and express their gratitude and love towards their father by gifting him with his favorite food and clothing. Children pay homage to their deceased father by carrying out Shraddha, a ritual in which they make monetary or other donations in temples.

Cheers to the Men in Our Lives!

Vatertag celebration

Vatertag, the German Father's Day, is celebrated every year on Ascension Day, which falls on a Thursday exactly forty days after Easter. Also known as Männertag (men's day) and Herrentag (gentleman's day), Father's Day celebrations in Germany are different from the rest of the world. Traditionally, groups of men from the northern parts of Germany go hiking, pulling Bollerwagens (small wagons) full of either wine or beer along. A traditional regional food Hausmannskost is carried as an accompanied snack to munch on.

Many schools and offices remain shut on the following Friday, which makes it a four-day weekend, which is enjoyed by fathers and families alike.

Happy Birthday to the King and a Masculine Flower for My Dad!

Canna flower

It is a double celebration of kinds for the people in Thailand, as Father's Day is celebrated on the same day as the birthday of the reigning King, also known as 'The Father of the Nation'.

Thais followed the tradition of wearing 'yellow' on this day, as it is the 'color of the day' for Monday, the day on which the King of Thailand, King Bhumibol Adulyadej was born. However, recently, the king was seen leaving a hospital in a baby-pink blazer. As a mark of respect and hope to bring back the king to good health, Thais now wear pink on his birthday, which is also Father's Day.

An ancient tradition, which is not quite popular today but is still followed by some families, is where the children present Canna flowers to their father. The flower is considered to be a masculine flower, and is thus given to dads who symbolize strength, power, and vigor.

Fishin', Cookin', Eatin', and Merrymakin'!

Father and son fishing

The celebrations on Father's Day in South Africa are very similar to those of the United States. South African kids present their fathers with gifts like greeting cards, flowers, pieces of clothing, neckties, etc., to show their love and care towards him.

A tradition that marks the authenticity of Father's Day in South Africa is for the fathers and kids to go on picnics and fishing with the rest of their families. The day is spent fishing, and the fish caught is cooked for a meal which the entire family eats together.

21 Kilometers to Father's Day!

Road race

The Mexican Father's Day or Día del Padre, is a day where the Mexican fathers are celebrated by their children and families in an extravagant way. A 21-km race across Mexico City's Bosque de Tlalpan is the highlight of the day. Mexicans who participate in the race, start training for it at least a week before the D-day.

The other half of the day is spent with kids showering their love and respect over their fathers with gifts, family dinners, chocolates, and presents.

Looking Out for You... Now and Always!

Brazilian dad and son

Brazil is another country which celebrates Father's Day or Dia dos Pais with a difference. The day is celebrated on the second Sunday of August, which is exactly three months after Mother's Day.

In other countries, it is the kids who do something special for their fathers. But Brazilian fathers surprise their children by organizing special treats for them. Although it isn't a public holiday, fathers make it a point to spend quality time with their children. Kids do honor their dads with special gifts and extra love.

The Award for the Father of the Year Goes To...

Father of the year award

Apart from being showered with love and affection, Australian dads get a chance to be honored as 'The Father of the Year' too. Father's Day in Australia is celebrated on the first Sunday of Spring (or the first Sunday of September).

The Father's Day Council of Victoria is responsible for giving due recognition to fathers with 'The Father of the Year Award'. Also, at a subordinate level, the YMCA Victoria honors fathers from 32 municipalities in Victoria with 'The Local Community Father of the Year' award.

My Father... My God

Hands joined in prayer

Although not celebrated traditionally, Father's Day is taken as an opportunity by Indian kids to express their love, gratitude, and respect towards their father. Children in India pay homage and seek their fathers' blessings, as the place of a father is next only to God. Hinduism teaches young ones to seek blessings from their elders by touching their feet and thinking of them to be no less than God.

Some children do follow modern western cultures and celebrate Father's Day on the third Sunday of June. Keeping in line with the traditions of the West, they try to make the day special for their fathers by presenting them with gifts, regional sweets, flowers, and the likes.

Bābā...

Eighth of August

Father's Day in Taiwan is celebrated on the eighth day of the eighth month of the year, that is, 8th of August. This is done for a very specific and cute reason. In Mandarin Chinese, the words 'eight' and 'August' are pronounced as , which is very similar to the pronunciation of the character '爸' or 'bà', which stands for 'father'. So, Father's Day in Taiwan, celebrated on the 8th of August, is sometimes known as 'Bābā Holiday' (爸爸節).

Breakfast in Bed

Breakfast in bed

Vaderdag (Father's Day) in The Netherlands brings with it the sweetest of surprises right from the start of the day. Kids in The Netherlands follow the tradition of serving their fathers 'breakfast in bed'. This is followed by children, fathers, and the rest of the family spending the day together in each others company. Children also express their love for their fathers with flowers, greeting cards, chocolates, electronic gifts, and perfumes, among other presents.

Say it By Wearing Roses

White and red rose

Canada, like the US, celebrates Father's Day on the third Sunday of June. On this day, people wear red roses to symbolize that their father is alive, and white roses to symbolize otherwise. The tradition of people wearing roses is one to express their gratitude and love towards their dads.

Another tradition which has found a place among the citizens of Canada is that people wish not only their fathers, but also their grandfathers, foster fathers, step-fathers, and uncles, or any male or father-figure who has played an important role in their lives.

St. Joseph's Day

Holy family

Many Roman Catholic countries like Spain, Italy and Portugal among others, celebrate Father's Day on Saint Joseph's Day, which falls on the 19th of March every year. Father's Day has become a secular celebration in these countries. March 19 is celebrated as the Feast of St. Joseph by Roman Catholics all over the world. St. Joseph is the step-father of Jesus Christ, and is held in the highest regard by Christians, the world over.

Catholics also follow the tradition of honoring their parish priest or 'spiritual father' along with honoring their biological father, on this day.

3rd Sunday of June

Third sunday of june

Some countries follow the American tradition of celebrating Father's Day on the third Sunday of June every year. These countries include Argentina, Canada, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, The Netherlands, Peru, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, and Venezuela.

Father's Day in the Rest of the World

Russia
Instead of celebrating Father's Day, Russia celebrates 'Defender of the Fatherland Day' on the 23rd of February, which is the Russian equivalent of Father's Day. It is sometimes also referred to as 'Men's Day'.

Argentina
Although Argentina continues to follow the Western culture and celebrate Father's Day on the third Sunday of June every year, several unsuccessful attempts have been made to change the date to August 24, which is also the day on which José de San Martín ( Father of the Nation) became a father.

Romania
Romania is the newest addition to the list of countries that honors fatherhood by celebrating Father's Day every year. Until 2010, it was the only European country which did not officially celebrate Father's Day. It was only in 2010, when the second Sunday of May was officially declared as Father's Day here.

Going all out, spending big bucks, throwing lavish parties, heading out for a week-long vacation, are amazing ideas to celebrate Father's Day, but not the only ones. It doesn't necessarily have to be grand. A simple peck on the cheek, a sweet phone call (if your dad is away), a quiet dinner (cooked by you, of course!), an open-hearted conversation under the clear sky on a starry night, are sure to light up your dad's face with a smile that starts from his heart and reaches his eyes. More than the materialistic things you do for him, it is actually the emotion that will make him realize his importance in your life.
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