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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day Around the World

Father’s Day celebrates fatherhood.  Not just biological fathers, but grandfathers, foster fathers, stepfathers or any other father figures.  While the majority of the world celebrates dads on the third Sunday of June, Father’s Day around the world is also celebrated in other months as well.

History of Father’s Day

Father’s Day was first celebrated in Spokane, Washington and was the brainchild of Sonara Smart Dodd in 1910.  A year earlier she had suggested that mothers should have a day of celebration.  When her idea proved a success, she felt it was only fair that father’s should have a special day too.

Father’s Day in America

Although every country honors their fathers in a different way, cards, thoughtful gifts, candy and even flowers are the order of the day.  In the absence of a gift, spending time with your dad and doing something he enjoys is perhaps the most appreciated gift of all.

Father’s Day in Australia

Down under, Father’s Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of September.  While children surprise their dad with a thoughtful gift, clubs and societies honor the day too.  Breakfast meetings for fathers, a fun sports event or a program that brings families together are all popular in Australia.

Father’s Day in South Africa

In South Africa, people like to barbeque, or as they call it “braai”.  Father’s Day, or “Vader dag” in South African, is the perfect opportunity to get together with family and friends and gather around the “burner” to cook dad’s favorite meal.  Taking into account that June in South Africa is a winter month, the temperature can be a gamble for an outside celebration.

Father’s Day in Germany

In Germany Father’s Day, or “Vadertag” as the Germans say, is celebrated slightly differently.  For starters the day is always celebrated 40 days after Easter on Ascension Day.  In addition to presenting fathers with presents, some men and boys go on a hiking trip, dragging a wagon of beer or wine along with them.

Father’s Day in Poland

In Poland, Father’s Day (Dzień Ojca), is celebrated on June 23.  While children spoil their fathers, mothers are hard at work in the kitchen preparing one or several of dad’s favorite foods.  Dishes such as sauerkraut with sausage (known as bigos), stuffed dumplings (pierogi), stuffed cabbage rolls (golabki) and sweet noodle pudding (kufel) are eaten with gusto.

Father’s Day in France

French fathers get the royal treatment on Father’s Day (Fête des Pères).  It’s not unusual for a French dad to wake up on the third Sunday in June and get his breakfast of coffee and croissants in bed.  Wine or fashion items are preferred gifts, but something handmade will do just as well.  Some French fathers also like to treat their families to a restaurant meal on Father’s Day.

Father’s Day in Italy

Father’s Day (Festa del Papa) is celebrated in Italy on March 19, the day of the St. Joseph Feast.  Italian households are abuzz with activity on this day, cooking dad’s favorite meal served with wine or “grappa”, along with cookies and breads.  Gifts often include a card with St. Joseph or a key ring or pendant with a picture of the saint.

Except for the dates, Father’s Day around the world isn’t all that different.  Fathers and father figures are honored by those who love them.

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