Fathers day was not bestowed with official recognition until the early 70’s in America by Richard Milhous Nixon. Although it was unofficially recognised as ‘a Sunday in June’ – from the first Sunday back in 1913, to the third Sunday in June today. It’s an unofficially sanctioned Sunday in Canada. Father’s Day is not a universally celebrated day. There are similar approximations around the world. Russia has their’s in February and is a politically high holiday where citizens honour the ‘Defence of the Fatherland Day.’ In the Nordic countries, it’s celebrated in November; Taiwan has their’s August 8th. In many European countries, where there is a strong link to Catholicism (e.g. Belgium, Italy, Portugal, and Spain) it’s St Joseph’s Day, which is March 19th. In Germany, it is called Ascension Day and it wobbles around the solar system falling 39 calendar days after the equally wobbly high holiday of Easter. It is not, in other words, a universally celebrated day as some anglo-centric talkers would like to believe. Nonetheless dads – Happy Father’s Day!
Father’s Day sprang from Mother’s Day as a natural follow through. Both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are essentially 20th century commercial creations. Mother’s day has thin roots dating back to 16th century Catholicism – Mary, and the ‘Mother church’ kind of thing.