Father's Day: When, History, Meaning, How to Celebrate
|Let's Celebrate our Father's Day!|
Mother's Day was an inspiration for Father's Day.
Father's Day Calendar
The next time you're wondering when you have to have your Father's Day gifts, homemade cards and activities ready for your #1 guy, keep this fact in mind: Father's Day is always celebrated on the third Sunday in June in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and other countries, which means this year's holiday will take place on June 20, 2021.
But elsewhere in the world, Father’s Day is celebrated on different dates.
The Forgotten History of Father's Day
|Years before Father's Day came to be, Catholics honored Saint Joseph. The day is still recognized in Irish and Polish communities around the world on March 19.|
Father’s Day, in the United States, holiday (third Sunday in June) to honour fathers. Father’s Day was not immediately accepted when it was proposed, and it did not become a national holiday in the U.S. until 1972 during President Richard Nixon’s administration, according to Almanac.
Mother’s Day came first (officially recognized in 1914) so men in the early 1900s associated the day with women and found it too effeminate to their liking. To be fair, Mother’s Day was couched in terms of femininity. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson called Mother’s Day a way to recognize “that tender, gentle army—the mothers of America.”
Men viewed it as similar to Mother’s Day, which was popular with florists; fathers didn’t have the same sentimental appeal. As one historian writes, they “scoffed at the holiday’s sentimental attempts to domesticate manliness with flowers and gift-giving, or they derided the proliferation of such holidays as a commercial gimmick to sell more products–often paid for by the father himself.”
Also, according to Lawrence R. Samuel, the author of American Fatherhood: A Cultural History, men had a different role in the first half of a century. It was very patriarchal, so they felt that a special day to exalt fatherhood was a rather silly idea, when it was mothers who were underappreciated.
However, that sentiment changed over time for several reasons.
Credit for originating the holiday is generally given to Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, whose father, a Civil War veteran, raised her and her five siblings after their mother died in childbirth. She is said to have had the idea in 1909 while listening to a sermon on Mother’s Day, which at the time was becoming established as a holiday.
Local religious leaders supported the idea, and the first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, the month of the birthday of Dodd’s father. In 1924 U.S. Pres. Calvin Coolidge gave his support to the observance, and in 1966 Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson issued a proclamation that recognized the day. It became a national holiday in 1972, when Pres. Richard Nixon signed legislation designating the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day. Father's Day is celebrated on Sunday, June 20, 2021, in most countries, according to Britannica.
The Meaning of Father's Day
On Father’s Day, people mark and celebrate fatherhood and paternal bonds. Father’s Day is the equivalent of Mother’s Day for fathers and is celebrated across the world, according to The Express.
Many men used to disdain the day. As one historian writes, they “scoffed at the holiday’s sentimental attempts to domesticate manliness with flowers and gift-giving, or they derided the proliferation of such holidays as a commercial gimmick to sell more products–often paid for by the father himself.”
During the 1920s and 1930s, a movement arose to scrap Mother’s Day and Father’s Day altogether in favor of a single holiday, Parents’ Day. Every year on Mother’s Day, pro-Parents’ Day groups rallied in New York City’s Central Park–a public reminder, said Parents’ Day activist and radio performer Robert Spere, “that both parents should be loved and respected together.”
How to Celebrate Father's Day
Although it was originally largely a religious holiday, Father’s Day has been commercialized with the sending of greeting cards and the giving of gifts. Some observe the custom of wearing a red rose to indicate that one’s father is living or a white rose to indicate that he is deceased. The way that we celebrate dad, grandpa and the other men who shape us continues to evolve from one year to the next. You may feel inspired to incorporate past traditions into this year's festivities, cited from Goodhousekeeping.
Some Roman Catholics have continued to observe the feast day of St. Joseph, on March 19, as a tribute to fathers.
1908: The first event to explicitly honor fathers
The first celebration for fathers in the United States has rather dark origins. On July 5, 1908, a father-themed memorial was held by a West Virginia church for the 362 men were killed in an explosion at the Fairmont Coal Company mines.
1920s: Neckties were the #1 Father's Day gift.
Still, families around the country were celebrating Father's Day by gifting men Hallmark cards and silk ties. Neckties were mass-produced in the 1920s to keep up with the demand surrounding the unofficial holiday.
1940s: Americans viewed Father's Day as propaganda.
Between the Great Depression and World War II, Americans were weary of anything that encouraged them to spend their hard earned money. During the war, advertisers even began telling housewives that supporting Father's Day was also a way to support their husbands away at war and the war itself.
2002: Families mourned the fathers who lost their lives in the 9/11 attack.
Nearly 3,000 men and women lost their lives during the tragic 9/11 attacks — and many of them were fathers. The following Father's Day was a more somber occasion with newspapers, magazines and TV shows honoring the lives lost.
2008: Senator Barack Obama gave a sermon about fatherhood.
On the heels of his presidency, then-Senator Barack Obama gave a heartfelt sermon at Apostolic Church of God in Chicago. "Of all the rocks upon which we build our lives, we are reminded today that family is the most important. And we are called to recognize and honor how critical every father is to that foundation," he said.
2010: Dads get flowers on Father's Day.
Flowers aren't just for Mother's Day, you know. On Father's Day, " a red rose can be worn on the lapel if one’s father is living, and a white rose is worn in his memory if he has passed away."
2020: Quite a few people celebrate.
In the United States alone, there are more than 70 million fathers. That's quite a few special celebrations!
Today, economists estimate that Americans spend more than $1 billion each year on Father’s Day gifts, reported by History.
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