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Father’s Day is a special day dedicated to honoring and celebrating fathers and father-figures all around the world. While it’s a well-known celebration today, the journey to its widespread acceptance and official recognition is a story worth telling. Here are ten fascinating facts about Father’s Day that offer an intriguing insight into its history, traditions, and cultural significance.
The idea of Father’s Day was conceived by Sonora Dodd in Spokane, Washington, USA, in 1910. She wanted to honor her father, William Jackson Smart, a single parent who raised six children on his own.
Even though the idea of Father’s Day began in 1910, it was not officially recognized as a national holiday in the U.S. until 1972, when President Richard Nixon signed it into law. This was 58 years after Mother’s Day was made official.
Unlike Mother’s Day which is celebrated on the same date in many parts of the world, Father’s Day varies. In the US, UK, and many other countries, it is celebrated on the third Sunday in June. However, in countries like Italy, Spain, Portugal and Croatia it’s celebrated on March 19, while in Australia and New Zealand, it’s the first Sunday in September.
Ties and Roses
The traditional gifts for Father’s Day are ties, and the official flower for the occasion is a rose. A red rose is worn in the lapel if your father is living, while a white rose signifies that he is deceased.
In Germany, Father’s Day (Vatertag) is celebrated differently, often involving groups of men participating in a hike or walk, pulling along a small wagon filled with beer and regional food.
Father’s Day is a huge commercial success. According to the National Retail Federation, in 2020 Americans were expected to spend more than $17 billion on gifts for Father’s Day.
Father’s Day Sermons
The very first Father’s Day was marked by church sermons honoring fathers, a tradition which continues in many churches today.
Since 2000, Google has consistently commemorated Father’s Day with a special doodle to mark the occasion, each year with a new theme or design.
While many view Father’s Day as a “Hallmark holiday” designed to sell cards and gifts, its origins are actually rooted in genuine celebration and respect for fathers.
Fewer Phone Calls
While Mother’s Day holds the record for the most phone calls made in a day, Father’s Day holds a less flattering record: it’s the day with the highest number of collect (reverse charge) calls, suggesting that fathers often foot the bill for the good wishes they receive on their special day.
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