Now that things are finally opening up, and many of our Dads are vaccinated, it’s a good chance to make up for missing so much time with our Fathers over the past 15 months. Father’s Day (20th June) makes the perfect excuse to celebrate together. Just how did it all get started though?
While Mother’s Day goes back to the 1860’s, Father’s Day didn’t start in earnest till 1910, when Sonora Smart Dodd, who, with five brothers, had been raised by her Father alone, campaigned to have a day of celebration in Washington State, USA. The tradition caught on but it wasn’t recognised as a holiday in the U.S. till 1972, and still isn’t in some countries. It’s also celebrated in different ways and on different days in different countries around the world.
In Thailand everyone wears yellow and gives their fathers flowers. In Mexico City there's a traditional 21 Km race. Brazillians have BBQ’s. Finnish Dads get breakfast in bed and homemade presents. South African Dads go fishing, Russian Dads have a parade. In Australia there is a competition for the Father of the Year.
Always seen as a bit of a Hallmark holiday, Father’s day gained popularity during the great depression in the US, when an excuse was sorely needed for any kind of indulgence, and anything that could be celebrated was welcome relief. It was introduced to France by a lighter manufacturer in 1949, suggesting their weather proof lighters were the ideal Father’s Day gifts, as Dads have always liked a gadget.