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Father's Day Turns 108! What is it like Around the World?

by on 12/06/2018 5261

After scratching your head over what to get mom for Mother’s Day last month, you will most likely find yourself repeating the process to decide what to get for the first man in your life, the person who deserves more than everything money can buy. As you trawl the net for gift ideas that could possibly be similar to last year, and the year before, read on for a snippet of what this special occasion is like across the globe.



While most of the world celebrate Father’s Day in June, Australia and some of its closest neighbours mark theirs on the first Sunday of September. That is about where the difference ends. Families take this occasion to shower their fathers with meaningful gifts, spend quality time over a hearty breakfast and organize events to remind everyone the importance of maintaining a close bond between fathers and their children.



Father’s Day in Germany is not quite placing 100 percent focus on dear old dad but more about taking time to celebrate men being men; hence it is called “Men’s Day”. Like every father’s wish, they are granted a day off to drink, sing, ride a group bike with more booze or gather in the park for grill and games. It is celebrated in May over a 4-day long weekend, giving everyone sufficient time to recover from all the fun.   



It was only about ten years ago that India picked up on the concept of celebrating this occasion. It is done the same way as most other countries, though smaller towns and villages have yet to catch on. Gifting, dining out or spending time at a picnic are all common ways of expressing gratitude on this day.



Aside from the typical cards, ties and dad’s favourite foods, Father’s Day is a sweaty bonding session out on the road. Fathers and children will run in the “Carrera Dia del Padre 21k Bosque de Tlalpan” race, held annually. For Mexicans, and surely other cultures, values are strongly based upon unity within the family. So, spending time together is highly important, no matter what the circumstance.   



Though it is not recognized as an official holiday, it is celebrated by most. Families will gather in town squares and public parks to participate in activities such as dancing, crafting and playing family games. The closest celebration paying tribute to all father figures, or in this case to all men, is a military commemoration called Defender of the Fatherland Day. It falls on February 23rd, honouring Russian soldiers and war veterans. Men usually receive gifts as a token of appreciation.        


South Africa

Geographically, it may be a route less travelled for most, but South Africans observe this day no different than other countries. Celebrations are usually hosted over a dine-out meal, picnic or fishing outing and fathers are presented with cards, neckties or gourmet gifts.   



While many countries mark Father’s Day in June, people in Thailand celebrate it in conjunction with the birthday of their widely admired King, as he is recognized as the symbolic father figure of the country. Traditionally, Thais present their fathers and grandfathers with a Canna flower. Elaborate lights fill royal ceremonial grounds and crowds of people dressed in yellow shirts gather, while the King delivers a speech.     


United Kingdom

Like its American counterpart, the Brits pretty much do it the same when it comes to honouring all father-like figures. It is similarly celebrated to show heartfelt appreciation for all the times he was Mr. Fix-It-All, a personal chauffeur and round-the-clock bodyguard. Also similarly extensively commercialized to make most individuals spend and get something special, just to put a smile on his face.   


United States

Father’s Day celebrations in the place where it all started are definitely nothing short of a fanfare. Perhaps stemming from the heavy commercial emphasis from the retail sector’s brilliant marketing campaigns. Wholeheartedly paying tribute to the man who will go all out to make things better for you since you entered this world, or just carrying out the formality of presenting gifts like everyone else, families will find time to gather and celebrate with good food and gifts. 


Some cynics may dismiss Father’s Day as an overly manufactured commercial celebration and choose to sit through it watching Netflix, like every other day. Some get too caught up in gifting that they forget the real reason for the proclamation of this day – that is to honour, appreciate, show gratitude and pay tribute to all fathers, grandfathers, uncles and stepfathers for everything that they have done for us. But really, these gestures and unconditional bonding sessions should be observed every day. In any way, have a good one for all those celebrating!