Father’s Day Traditions around the World

Father and Son Walking Together on the Beach

On June 17th this year, Americans everywhere will giving their dads a little extra love and appreciation for Father’s Day! The United States isn’t the only country to set aside a special day to acknowledge their fathers and father figures — read on for some of the ways other countries and cultures celebrate the holiday.

After about sixty years of trying to get Father’s Day officially recognized, President Nixon signed it into law in 1972, and from then on the third Sunday in June would be dedicated to dads. Many other countries have adopted the same day, although not all of them: in Thailand, Father’s Day coincides with the King’s birthday, December 5th; Brazilians celebrate on August 2nd, which is the birthday of the Virgin Mary’s father St. Joachim, the patron saint of fathers and grandfathers; similarly, the traditionally Catholic nations of Italy, Spain, and Portugal tie their celebrations to the feast day of St. Joseph on March 19th. In Germany, dads are celebrated on the 40th day of Easter, and onFebruary 23rd in Russia, not just dads but all men are honored on Defender of the Fatherland Day, which doubles as a day to acknowledge the military.

So how do people celebrate, whenever their particular holiday falls? In a huge number of ways! In Germany, they go very old-school mainly, with dads taking wagons of beer and liquor into the woods to hang out, going on hikes, or joining a pub crawl.

In France, fathers were traditionally given lighters as gifts, but these are becoming less popular in favor of other small gifts, including drawings from the kids.

Mexico goes big with their Father’s Day, throwing large parties with live music and tons of food. They also have an annual 21K race, which sees hundreds of participants.

Thai people traditionally give Canna lilies to their fathers and grandfathers on this day, and many people — including the men — wear pink, a favorite color of the king.

Australians and Canadians share many similarities with the U.S. in their fatherly celebrations, with small gifts and family time.

However you celebrate, be sure to make the father or father figure in your life feel a little extra special this June 17th!

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