We’ve already celebrated Mother’s Day, now dad’s special day is just around the corner. Father’s Day is held on the third Sunday of June in the United Kingdom. It is a day to honour fathers and father figures, such as grandfathers and fathers-in-law. Many people make a special effort to visit their fathers or to send them a card or gifts. Common Father’s Day gifts are ties, socks, underwear, sweaters, slippers and other items of clothing. Other people give tools for household maintenance or garden work, luxury food items or drinks.
It always takes place on the third Sunday in June in the UK but differs around the world – as do the celebrations. While we shower dad with cards and gifts, breakfast in bed and a pub lunch, the date is marked in Germany with groups of men consuming beer, wine and meat on waggons and in the U.S. it’s a public holiday.
Some families celebrate Father’s Day by planning an outing or weekend trip, perhaps just for the male members of the family. This may be a simple walk in the countryside or a whole planned “experience”. Popular Father’s Day experiences include driving a fire engine, rally car, tank or even airplane or taking a golf, football or cricket lesson with a celebrity coach.
Other families organise a special meal at home or in a pub or restaurant. A common Father’s Day meal is a traditional roast dinner with meat, stuffing, potatoes and vegetables, which can be eaten in a pub and accompanied by pints of ale or lager.
There are several schools of thought when it comes to the origins of Father’s Day but the tradition seems to have started in America. Some believe it was founded by Grace Golden Clayton in West Virginia, USA, following a mine explosion which killed more than 360 men, over 200 of whom were fathers and left behind devastated families.
She was so moved by this tragedy, she initiated the idea that there should be a special day dedicated to honouring fathers and she decided on July 5, 1908, as this was the closest date to her father’s birthday.
However, with no official or public statement and the fact that it had been Independence Day the day before, it was unsuccessful. Two years later after Grace Golden Clayton’s attempt to create Father’s Day, Sonora Smart Dodd from Washington managed to get it recognised.
Sonora had lost her mother at the age of 16 and was brought up by her father, a civil war veteran, along with her five siblings. After speaking to her pastor Reverend Dr Conrad Bluhm, her idea was accepted. She wanted the date to be June, 5 which was her father’s birthday, but the church felt like they needed more preparation time, so June 19 was chosen.
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