When Is Father’s Day Celebrated?
Father’s Day is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in the months of March, April and June. It complements similar celebrations honoring family members, such as Mother’s Day, Siblings Day, and Grandparents’ Day. It celebrates the contribution that fathers and father figures make for their children’s lives. Father’s Day is an occasion to mark and celebrate the contribution that your own father has made to your life.
Many people send or give cards or gifts to their fathers. Common Father’s Day gifts include sports items or clothing, electronic gadgets, outdoor cooking supplies and tools for household maintenance. Father’s Day is a relatively modern holiday so different families have a range of traditions. These can range from a simple phone call or greetings card to large parties honoring all of the ‘father’ figures in a particular extended family. Father figures can include fathers, step-fathers, father-in-laws, grandfathers and great-grandfathers and even other male relatives.
In the days and weeks before Father’s Day, many schools and Sunday schools help their pupils to prepare a handmade card or small gift for their fathers. There are a range of events, which may have inspired the idea of Father’s Day. One of these was the start of the Mother’s Day tradition in the first decade of the 20th century. Another was a memorial service held in 1908 for a large group of men, many of them fathers, who were killed in a mining accident in Monongah, West Virginia in December 1907.
A woman called Sonora Smart Dodd was an influential figure in the establishment of Father’s Day. Her father raised six children by himself after the death of their mother. This was uncommon at that time, as many widowers placed their children in the care of others or quickly married again. Sonora was inspired by the work of Anna Jarvis, who had pushed for Mother’s Day celebrations. Sonora felt that her father deserved recognition for what he had done. The first time Father’s Day was held in June was in 1910. Father’s Day was officially recognized as a holiday in 1972 by President Nixon.
Slowly, the holiday spread. In 1916, President Wilson honored the day by using telegraph signals to unfurl a flag in Spokane when he pressed a button in Washington, D.C. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge urged state governments to observe Father’s Day.
Today, the day honoring fathers is celebrated in the United States on the third Sunday of June: Father’s Day 2017 occurs on June 18; the following year, Father’s Day 2018 falls on June 17. In other countries–especially in Europe and Latin America–fathers are honored on St. Joseph’s Day, a traditional Catholic holiday that falls on March 19.