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The History of Father's Day

Lapis Lazuli Gemstone

Have you ever wondered where Father's Day came from or what the traditional Father's Day celebration is all about? Well, we would like to offer a short history of Father's Day as a gentle reminder for everybody to spare a thought for their dear old dad and show him some appreciation this Father's Day.

Father's Day began in the USA as "Fathers' Day", when a certain Ms Sonora Smart Dodd of Washington decided that mothers should not be the only parent to have a special day devoted to them. When Sonora was 16 years old, her mother died during childbirth, leaving Sonora's father to care for six children. Her father's devotion to his children inspired Sonora to campaign for a day to honour all fathers. Sonora got this idea during a sermon that she attended at the age of 27, about Anna Jarvis; the founder of Mother's Day. The first "Fathers' Day" was celebrated on June 19th 1910. The spelling "Father's Day" was used in an official document, so since then, it has been known as "Father's Day". Initially, Father's Day did not become widely accepted, but later it was commercially promoted and then President Lyndon B Johnson proclaimed it to be a designated day for honouring fathers in 1966. Finally, President Richard Nixon made Father's Day an official national holiday in 1972. Father's Day must have really taken off because nowadays, it is estimated that Americans spend over $1 billion each year on Father's Day gifts.

In some countries, Father's Day is a public holiday and in others it is celebrated on a Sunday, thus allowing fathers to spend time with their families. Whilst many countries celebrate Father's Day in June, it is also celebrated during other months by other nations. For example, Australians celebrate Father's Day in September and in Victoria, Local Community Father of the Year awards are given to exceptional fathers in thirty-two municipalities. In Germany, Father's Day is on Ascension Day and it is celebrated by male bonding hikes with manually pulled wagons that carry beer or wine and local delicacies, such as ham. This tradition started in the 1700s when men would be pulled to the village square in wooden carts, where the mayor would award a large ham to the man with the most children.

Father's Day quoteIn Pakistan, the focus of Father's Day is on fathers to take an active role in the upbringing of children, rather than for children to honour their fathers. In Thailand, Father's Day is celebrated on the king's birthday, which is December 5th. The king of Thailand is considered to be the father of the nation, so citizens pay their respects to both him and their own fathers on Father's Day. In Taiwan, Father's Day is celebrated on 8th August because in Mandarin, 8/8 sounds like "ba ba", which sounds like "papa" or "father".

At Gemselect we would like to remind all of our customers that Father's Day is coming up, so if you have a father or a grandfather, please be sure to send him a card to let him know you're thinking of him. If you would like some ideas on what to send your father, please feel free to peruse our article on gems for gents or men's jewellery ideas. We wish you all a fantastic Father's Day 2014.

  • First Published: May-30-2014
  • Last Updated: January-22-2019
  • © 2005-2021 all rights reserved.
    Reproduction (text or graphics) without the express written consent of (SETT Company Ltd.) is strictly prohibited.
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