Fathers Day 2021
This year, we will celebrate Father’s Day on 20 June 2021.
When was Father’s Day created?
Spokane, Washington, was the first state to celebrate Father’s Day on 19 June 1910. The day did not become a national holiday until 1972. This was 58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official.
Sonora Smart Dodd is recognized as the founder of the nation’s annual Father’s Day. Sonora was the daughter of American Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart and his wife, Ellen. Her mother died during childbirth. As the eldest, Sonora helped her father raise her five brothers. Sonora felt the need to honour Fathers in the same way that the nation did for Mother’s Day. So, she went to local churches, the YMCA, shopkeepers and government officials to drum up support for her idea.
A 1966 presidential proclamation by President Lyndon B Johnson, declared the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day. It became a federal national holiday by President Richard Nixon in 1972.
Father’s Day Traditions Around the World
There are different Father’s Day traditions around the world. Although many countries celebrate the day with gift-giving, there are some unique traditions around the world.
Catholic countries in Latin America and Europe, celebrate on 19 March. This is the same day that St. Joseph’s Day is recognized. Note, Joseph, the husband of Jesus’ mother, Mary. It is said that the celebration of fatherhood in Catholic Europe (St. Joseph Day) started as early as 1508.
Father’s Day is celebrated in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji on the 1st Sunday in September. Many Islamic countries commemorate the day on 25 February. This is Islamic Prophet Muhammed son in law, Ali Ibn Abi Talib birthday. South Korea celebrates Parent’s Day on 8 May.
In Sri Lanka, schools hold special events for Father’s. The King’s birthday is as set as Father’s Day in Thailand. Fathers receive canna flowers from their families. Persons wear yellow to show respect for the King and spend the day hearing his speech and other national ceremonies.
Tradition in Germany is for groups of men to go hiking with wagons pulled by manpower. Fathers get breakfast in bed in the Netherlands. They also spend dinner together at the grandparents’ home or, more popularly today, at a restaurant.
The YMCA in Victoria, Australia, honours fathers or those who play a father figure role through an annual local community Father of the year event. There is a parade honouring armed forces in Russia, with the day being called ‘Defender of the Fatherland Day’.
Food for thought
This year, Father’s Day will be on 20 June 2021. How are you celebrating the men in your life or community? Father’s Day continues to be controversial in some areas. With single parenting figures soaring annually, let us pray for the institute of families. Men play an essential role in the family, church and community. Let us honour them.
Prayer: Lord, you are Creator and father of all. Those of us who may not have had our biological father’s in our lives heal our hearts and minds. We pray for the men of our communities. We pray for healing in families. Lord, raise men to lead Your church according to Your will. In Jesus’ name. Amen