Father's Day Celebration - How and When It Started
Year after year , we celebrate Father’s Day to honor the greatest men of our lives , our bestfriend, protector, our pillar of strength – our fathers, whose lives are dedicated in unselfishly loving and cherishing us, their children. Indeed, it is one of the very special days of the year that many of us look forward to. But how and when did this very special celebration start?
Father’s Day was the brainchild of Sonora Smart Dodd from Spokane, Washington. Miss Dodd was raised by her Civil War veteran father William Smart since she was 16 years old, after her mother died while giving birth to the 6th child. Her desire to honor and celebrate fatherhood began when she was listening to a sermon during a mass being celebrated for a Mother’s Day celebration in Central Methodist Episcopal in 1909. Inspired by the sermon, she implored the support of Spokane Ministerial association to pay tribute to the sacrifices, courage, and selfless love of her father and all the other fathers just like hers. Hence, the first Father’s Day celebration was held in the United States on June 19, 1910, the birthday of Sonora’s father. Intended to be a religious holiday, the church commemorated the first Father’s Day by pinning roses on the breasts of YMCA members as they went to church. Red roses were pinned to honor fathers who were still alive while white roses were used to remember those who were already deceased.
However, unlike Mother’s Day celebration which had long been accepted as a National Holiday with so much enthusiasm, it took years before Father’s Day was duly recognized as a natioanl holiday. In 1966, a proclamation was made by President Lyndon Johnson that Father’s Day is to be celebrated every 3rd Sunday of June. However, it was declared as a national holiday by President Nixon only in 1972.
Although Father’s Day originated as a religious celebration, it’s commemoration has now evolved into a much more commercialized feast observed by families worldwide. Amidst and above all these commercialization however, let us not forget the true essence of the celebration, which is to honor and give trubute to the greatness of fathers all over the world.
Argentina – 3rd Sunday of June
Australia - 1st Sunday of September (not a public holiday)
Costa Rica – 3rd Sunday of June
Germany – a federal holiday celebrated during Ascension Day (the Thursday 40 days after Easter)
New Zealand – 1st Sunday of September (not a public holiday)
The Philippines – 3rd Sunday of June (not an official holiday)
Singapore – 3rd Sunday of June (not a public holiday)
Thailand – set as the biirthday of whoever is the current king
United States of America - 3rd Sunday of June