Father's Day 2024: History, tradition and quotes for the special day

Most countries celebrate Father’s Day on the date set in the United States


Appa, Dad, Baba, Papa. Countless names exist in every language for this irreplaceable role. This year, Father’s Day falls on June 16. From making Father’s Day cards to taking him out for a lavish meal, this holiday is celebrated in many different ways.

While the majority of the world celebrates Father’s Day on the day set by the United States, other countries have their unique dates and traditions. Regardless, all countries recognise the role of a father and its importance.


Father’s Day is a day to honour not just biological fathers but anyone seen

as a paternal figure. This holiday roots its history in West Virginia, in 1908, where a church held the first event to celebrate and honour fathers. This event was held as a Sunday sermon in memory of 362 men who had died in an explosion at the Fairmont Coal Company.

Though it was not meant to be an annual event, Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane in Washington wanted to honour fathers with a special day annually. She proposed her idea to the YMCA and the Spokane Ministerial

Association and they agreed to set the third Sunday in June as ‘Father’s Day’. Thus, the first Father's Day was celebrated on June 19th, 1910.

In 1966, under President Lyndon Johnson, an executive order was signed declaring Father’s Day to be celebrated on the third Sunday of June. In 1972, under President Richard Nixon, Congress passed an act making Father's Day an official national holiday.

How the day is celebrated

While most countries follow Father’s Day according to the date set in the United States, many other countries have Father’s Day on dates that have cultural significance to fathers.

In Germany, Father’s Day is known as Vatertag and it is celebrated on Ascension Day, 39 days after Easter. A paternal element was incorporated into the celebration of the Ascension in the 18th century. Vatertag is celebrated by gathering in fields, parks or forests. Men decorate hand

carts that carry various forms of alcohol including beer, mead and ale.

Father's Day in Italy is observed on 19th March. This day was chosen as it falls on the same day as Saint Joseph's Day, the patron saint for fathers. Different parts of Italy celebrate this day in very unique ways. In Tuscany fathers are given handmade belts and wallets. In Sardina, a special bread made with semolina flour and saffron is gifted. A tradition followed all over Italy is to make Zeppole di San Giuseppe, a sweet pastry topped with custard and cherries.

In Brazil, Father’s Day falls on the same day as St Joachim’s Day who is also a patron saint for fathers. This falls on the second Sunday of August. This day is set aside as a day to grow the dad belly as huge barbecues are held with chicken, pork, beef etc. Families gather to feast on this

special day and children dedicate poems and gifts to their fathers.

Be it with beer, belts or barbecues, this year show your appreciation for your father by celebrating this special day with him. Take inspiration from other cultures to make this Father’s Day unique and possibly spark new traditions. H. Jackson Brown Jr once said, "Life doesn't come

with an instruction book; that's why we have fathers."

The role of a father is commendable and fathers everywhere should be recognised for their efforts. Get him the Rolex he had his eye on next year, this Sunday spend the day with him and let him know what he means to you.

Happy Father’s Day!

Make your Father's Day card special with these quotes:

● "When my father didn't have my hand, he had my back." – Linda Poindexter

● "Great fathers don't find fault. Great fathers find solutions." – Reed Markham

● “There is no teacher equal to mother and there's nothing more contagious than the dignity of a father.”― Amit Ray, World Peace: The Voice of a Mountain Bird

● “Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance.” ― Ruth E. Renkel

● "[My father] always provided me a safe place to land and a hard place from which to launch."– Chelsea Clinton

● "Any fool can have a child. That doesn’t make you a father. It’s the courage to raise a child that makes you a father." - Barack Obama

● "Some people don't believe in heroes, but they haven't met my dad." - Unknown

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