Father's Day is a day honoring fathers, celebrated on various days in many places around the world. It complements Mother's Day, the celebration honouring mothers.
Father's Day is a celebration inaugurated in the early twentieth century to complement Mother's Day in celebrating fatherhood and male parenting,
and to honor and commemorate fathers and forefathers. Father's Day is
celebrated on a variety of dates worldwide and typically involves
gift-giving, and special dinners to fathers and family-oriented activities. In 2008, it was celebrated on June 15 in many countries. It originated in Spokane, Washington. In 2009, it will be celebrated on June 21 in many countries.
The first observance of Father's Day is believed to have been held in July 5 1908 a church in Fairmont, West Virginia, by Dr. Robert Webb of West Virginia at the Central United Methodist Church of Fairmont.
Mrs. John B. Dodd of Washington thought independently of the holiday
one Sunday in 1909 while listening to a Mother's Day sermon in church,
and she arranged a tribute for her father in June 19, 1910. She was the
first to solicit the idea of having an official Father's Day observance.
It took many years to make the holiday official. A bill was introduced on 1913, US President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea in 1924, a National Father's Day Committee was formed on New York City in 1926. President Lyndon Johnson made a proclamation in 1966 but it wasn't made a permanent holiday until 1976 with Richard Nixon.
In addition to Father's Day, International Men's Day is celebrated in many countries, most often on November 19.
Although normal English punctuation
guidelines indicate that the holiday should be spelled "Fathers' Day"
(as it is a plural possessive), common usage dictates that the
ostensibly singular possessive "Father's Day" is the preferred spelling.
The spelling "Father's Day" was already used back in 1913 when a
bill was introduced to the US Congress as the first attempt to
establish the holiday, and was still spelled the same way when its creator was commended in 2008
International history and traditions
Hiking/drinking tour on Herrentag
In Germany there is no such thing as Father's Day
as celebrated in other parts of the world. There are two terms and/or
events of an older origin that while similar in name, have entirely
different meanings. Vatertag, is always celebrated on Ascension Day (the Thursday forty days after Easter), which is a federal holiday. Regionally, it is also called men's day, Männertag, or gentlemen's day, Herrentag. It is tradition to do a males-only hiking tour with one or more smaller wagons, Bollerwagen, pulled by manpower. In the wagons are wine or beer (according to region) and traditional regional food, Hausmannskost, which could be Saumagen, Liverwurst, Blutwurst (Blood Sausage), vegetables, eggs, etc.
Some parts of Germany (such as Bavaria and the northern part of Germany) call this particular day "Vatertag", which is the literal equivalent to Father's Day.
In the United States, the first modern Father's Day celebration was held on July 5, 1908, in Fairmont, West Virginia or on June 19th of the same year, in the state of Washington. Today, Father's Day is celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of June.
In West Virginia, it was first celebrated as a church service at
Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South, now known as
Central United Methodist
Church. Grace Golden Clayton, who is believed to have suggested the
service to the pastor, is believed to have been inspired to celebrate
fathers after the deadly mine explosion in nearby Monongah the prior December. This explosion killed 361 men, many of them fathers and recent immigrants to the United States from Italy. Another possible inspiration for the service was Mothers' Day, which had been celebrated for the first time two months prior in Grafton, West Virginia, a town about 15 miles (24 km) away.
Another driving force behind the establishment of the integration of Father's Day was Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd, born in Creston, Washington. Her father, the Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, as a single parent reared his six children in Spokane, Washington. She was inspired by Anna Jarvis's efforts to establish Mother's Day. Although she initially suggested June 5,
her father's birthday, she did not provide the organizers with enough
time to make arrangements, and the celebration was deferred to the
third Sunday of June. The first June Father's Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, WA, at the Spokane YMCA.
Unofficial support from such figures as William Jennings Bryan was immediate and widespread. President Woodrow Wilson was personally feted by his family in 1916. President Calvin Coolidge recommended it as a national holiday in 1924. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson
made Father's Day a holiday to be celebrated on the third Sunday of
June. The holiday was not officially recognized until 1972, during the
presidency of Richard Nixon.
In recent years, retailers have adapted to the holiday by promoting greeting cards and male-oriented gifts such as electronics and tools. Schools and other children's programs commonly have activities to make Father's Day gifts.
According to IBISWorld, a publisher of business research, Americans
are expected to spend at least $11 billion on gifts for Father's Day in
2008. This is about $7 billion less than the amount spent on Moms for
Mother's Day, which is more steeped in traditional gifts, some of which
tend to be more expensive than Father's Day gifts. In economic terms,
the average per capita spending on Father's Day is expected to be in
the range of $27.60 in 2008