Father’s Day has been officially celebrated all over the world for at least the last century and in Catholic Europe since the Middle Ages. There are rumors that it may have been started by a Babylon boy named Elmesu over 4,000 years ago. According to another theory, Father’s Day originated from sun worship by the Pagans.
In the US, the first observance of a Father’s Day was July 5, 1908, in Fairmont, West Virginia, in the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South, which is now known as Central United Methodist Church. However, it was not until 1966 until President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law. The majority of countries celebrate on the third Sunday in June, but many other countries celebrate March 19th (the feast day of Saint Joseph).
A popular tradition in most of the countries is having a get together that involves a lot of food. In Thailand, Father’s Day falls on the same day as the birthday of Bhumbibol Adulyade (December 5), because he is considered the Father of the Nation. Traditionally, people wore yellow, the “official color” of Monday (the day of the week the King was born) and presented their father with a canna flower. The canna flower is considered to be a masculine flower.
Father’s Day in Germany is always celebrated the Thursday about 40 days after Easter. It began in the Middle Ages as a religious procession. Nowadays, the celebration usually begins with a male’s only hike accompanied by wagons filled with regional food, beer and wine, but in German cities, the party has taken on a more urban tone, with men going to beer gardens to drink all day.
There is a city-wide 21-kilometer race that takes place in Mexico City’s Bosque de Tlalpan, an area of open-space used for hiking and jogging. Father’s Day is also celebrated with food and gifts.
Traditionally, kids give their fathers gifts on Father’s Day, such as greeting cards, books, chocolates, etc. But there are also some more original gift ideas, like bacon scented air fresheners or hamburgers brand marked with the father’s name.
World Translation Center wishes all the fathers a happy Father’s Day!