Many Australians observe Father’s Day on the first Sunday of September ... a few days ago. It is a day for people to show their appreciation for fathers and father figures. Father figures may include stepfathers, fathers-in-law, guardians (eg. foster parents), and family friends.
What do people do?
Many Australians celebrate Father’s Day by showing their appreciation for their fathers or father figures. Acts of appreciation are done in different ways and may include (but are not limited to):
- A day out in the park, at the movies, at a zoo, or another place of interest.
- Handmade or purchased cards.
- Presents such as food baskets, chocolates, clothing, equipment for hobbies, or gift vouchers.
- Breakfasts, brunches, lunches, or dinners either at home, at a restaurant, or at a café.
- Father’s Day charity activities, such as fun runs or purchasing special gifts, to raise money for causes such as services for the visually impaired or research on prostate cancer.
- Some families may prefer to visit places of worship together, like churches, synagogues or mosques.
Some fathers and father figures receive adventures or experiences as Father’s Day gifts. They may include a quad bike adventure, swimming with whale sharks, or abseiling. Some magazines and newspapers choose this time of the year to publish positive Father’s Day stories that focus on the challenges that some men faced and achievements that they made to provide the best for children in Australia. Many of these articles are published both in print and online. Television and radio programs may also have Father’s Day specials during this period.
Father’s Day is not a public holiday in Australia. It falls on a Sunday, which is a day off for many workers so many offices and stores are closed. However, some shopping precincts and stores, as well as restaurants, cafes and entertainment venues, may be busy on Father’s Day, especially in areas where Sunday trading is allowed.
There are some suggestions that the idea of Father's Day may originate in pagan sun worship. Some branches of paganism see the sun as the father of the universe. Father’s Day in Australia occurs on the first Sunday of September. Father’s Day in some countries is on the third Sunday of June, which is close to the June solstice.
The idea of a special day to honor fathers and celebrate fatherhood was introduced from the United States. A woman called Sonora Smart Dodd was inspired by the American Mother's Day celebrations and planned a day to honor fathers early in the 20th century. The first Father's Day was celebrated in Spokane, Washington on June 19, 1910. Father’s Day has become increasingly popular throughout North America and other parts of the world over the years. Mother’s Day is also celebrated Australia on an annual basis.
Images of fathers or father figures, and the words “Happy Father’s Day” are often seen on marketing material, such as posters, postcards, and advertisements, to promote Father’s Day.
What do people do in other countries?
The date when Father’s Day is celebrated varies from country to country. It is celebrated in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States on the third Sunday of June. It is also observed in countries such as Argentina, Canada, France, Greece, India, Ireland, Mexico, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, and Venezuela. In Australia and New Zealand Father’s Day is on the first Sunday in September. In Thailand it is celebrated on December 5, which is the birthday of the country’s king. Brazilian dads are honored on the second Sunday of August.
On Father’s Day many people make a special effort for their fathers or father figures. Some people visit their fathers, while others give cards, flowers or other gifts, such as clothing or sporting equipment, or luxury food items. Father's Day is a relatively modern holiday, so different families have different traditions. These can range from a simple phone call or greetings card to large parties honoring all father figures in an extended family. Father figures can include fathers, step-fathers, fathers-in-law, grandfathers, great-grandfathers and even other male relatives.
Father's Day in India is a relatively new concept but it is celebrated in similar ways as in the United Kingdom or the United States, although on a smaller scale. There is a greater awareness of Fathers Day events in metropolitan cities and bigger towns due to the greater exposure of people to the western cultures in these areas. In Mexico Father’s Day is referred to as “Día del Padre”, where many families get together, prepare meals and distribute gifts to fathers or father figures. In South Africa, many social and cultural societies host Father's Day celebrations to stress the important role of fathers in nurturing children and building stronger society.
Father's Day is not a federal holiday in most countries, with exception to Thailand because it falls on the same day as the King’s Birthday, which is a public holiday. For other countries, Father’s Day is on a Sunday, so public offices are closed on this day and very few organizations are open for business. Public transit systems run to their weekend schedules. It is important for people wanting to dine in a restaurant on Father’s Day to think about booking in advance because restaurants may be busier than usual, as many people take their fathers out for a treat.
Background and symbols
There are some suggestions that the idea of Father's Day may originate in pagan sun worship. Some branches of paganism see the sun as the father of the universe. The June solstice occurs around the same time of year as Father's Day so some people see a link between the two.
The idea of a special day to honor fathers and celebrate fatherhood was introduced from the United States. There, a woman called Sonora Smart Dodd was inspired by the American Mother's Day celebrations to plan a day to honor fathers. In the USA, Father's Day has been celebrated in June since 1910. The celebrations in the United Kingdom and other countries are thought to have been inspired by the American custom of Father's Day. This is in contrast to Mother's Day, which has a very different history in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Clancy's comment: Mm ... happy father's day to all those who are, or act as a father. I've never acknowledged father's or mother's day because I think every day should be a day to recognise our parents, especially as they age.