In the United States, Father’s Day was originally created to honor a veteran and single father of 14 children. Since 1910 it has been celebrated annually on the third Sunday of June.
And while we may be most familiar with our own traditions (like giving Father's Day cards and hosting a Father's Day brunch) the holiday isn’t just celebrated in the United States. In other countries, the holiday is celebrated on different days and in many different ways. Here’s how Father’s Day is celebrated around the world.
While Mother’s Day is celebrated on different dates in the United States and the United Kingdom, Father’s Day always falls on the third Sunday in June in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. This year, the holiday will be celebrated with cards and Father's Day gifts on Sunday, June 20, in all three countries.
In Australia and New Zealand, Father’s Day is celebrated on the first day of Spring, which in those countries is the first Sunday of September. It’s said that these two countries chose September because the time when much of the world observes Father’s Day was already too full of holidays. The day is typically spent showering Dad with cards and gifts in much the same way in America.
Brazilian Father’s Day is observed on the second Sunday in August (this year on Sunday, August 8) in honor of St. Joachim, the father of the virgin Mary in the Christian tradition. Children spend the day writing Father's Day cards and letters with words of thanks to their dads and father figures.
Father’s Day in France is celebrated on the third Sunday in June. This day of celebration honors the role fathers and father figures play in raising children. On this day gifts are given to fathers, grandfathers and significant men in the family. Gifts often include chocolates, books and handmade items by children. Cards are often handmade and given with presents.
Many Roman Catholic countries, including Spain, Portugal, and Italy, celebrate Father’s Day on the Feast of St. Joseph, an annual religious holiday that honors Joseph of Nazareth, Jesus’ father. The holiday is celebrated on March 19 each year, and in addition to church services, the day is celebrated with gifts and cards for Dad.
In Germany, Father's Day (or Vatertag) is celebrated on Ascension Day, a Christian holiday celebrated on the 40th day after Easter. It always falls on a Thursday in May: This year, it will be celebrated on Thursday, May 20. Vatertag is a national holiday, and in most areas of the country the following Friday is as well, so many celebrate with a 4-day weekend filled with outdoor Father's Day activities and, for those of legal age, a few beers.
The country of Thailand celebrates Father’s Day on December 5, the birthday of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The ruling king typically gives a widely-broadcast speech, and children hand out Canna lilies to their fathers and grandfathers.
Russia’s Father’s Day began as a military celebration, which then became a holiday dedicated to men. Over time, the celebration of men has evolved into the country’s modern Father’s Day. Because of its military roots, the holiday is known as Defender of the Fatherland Day. and is celebrated annually on February 23rd with parades that many of the men participate in.