Father’s Day Countdown
until June 17, 2018
Father’s Day Facts and History
Father’s Day is a holiday observed in more than 50 countries around the world and seeks to honor the importance of fathers in families. Although traditions vary around the world, the day is typically reserved for paying tribute to men who have children and also for celebrating the role that men play in child-rearing.
When Is Father’s Day?
The date for Father’s Day changes every year in most countries. In the United States, Canada, France, Japan, the United Kingdom, Chile, Argentina, India and the Netherlands, the holiday is always held on the third Sunday of the month of June. In Lithuania, Father’s Day takes place on the first Sunday in June. Australia and New Zealand celebrate the holiday on the first Sunday in September, while Norway, Finland and Denmark honor fathers on the second Sunday in November.
History of Father’s Day
The tradition of Father’s Day began during the Middle Ages with the celebration of St. Joseph’s Day. The Christian feast day honors St. Joseph, the husband of Mary who Christians believed served as Jesus Christ’s earthly father. It was customary for the day to be viewed as an overall celebration of fathers and their place in the family. Today, Portugal, Spain and Belgium still celebrate Father’s Day on St. Joseph’s Day, which is March 19.
In the United States, Father’s Day first came into celebration in Spokane, Washington, when a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd planned a celebration at a YMCA held on June 19, 1910. Dodd was raised by a single father and felt that dads deserved a day of honor similar to the one that women in the United States had on Mother’s Day.
Events were held in Spokane and sporadically throughout the country during the years that followed. While there were several attempts to declare a national Father’s Day, it wasn’t any success until 1966 when Lyndon B. Johnson issued a proclamation making the third Sunday of June Father’s Day. A law making the holiday official was signed by Richard Nixon in 1972.
Celebrating Father’s Day in the U.S.
While Father’s Day is a national holiday, it is not a federal holiday. Businesses typically remain open on Father’s Day although since it is held on Sundays, many people are off work for the weekends every year. Normally, fathers receive gifts from their spouses, partners or children to mark the occasion. Approximately $14 billion is spent on Father’s Day in the U.S. every year. The most popular gifts include greeting cards, clothing, gift cards, books and CDs, electronics, personal care items and sporting goods, and the average person spends around $100 on gifts.
Many families get together to celebrate Father’s Day. Some dine out at restaurants or plan other special outings for the holiday, while others will prepare a meal at home and dine together. Research shows that roughly 75 percent of Americans celebrate Father’s Day in some way whether it’s by simply sending Dad a card, calling him for the holiday, giving him a gift or paying him a visit.