Illustration by elfivetrov from iStock
In the UK, Father’s Day is held on the third Sunday in June every year. This year, it’s the 21 June.
Father’s Day is a day to celebrate, particularly this year, as we all begin to recover from the rigours of the Coronavirus lockdown and more and more families are able to be together, even if it is at a 2 metre distance!
Father’s Day is held at the same time of year as the summer solstice. Some believe Father’s Day originated in pagan sun worship – the sun being the father of the universe. However, it was not until 5 July 1908, in America, that a church in West Virginia held a service to commemorate men’s lives, in this instance, the lives of 362 men (mainly fathers), who had recently died in a local mining accident.
Over the next two years, Sonora Smart Dodd, who was one of six children brought up by her widowed father, drummed up support, within her local community, for a special day to honour all fathers. Thanks to churches, shopkeepers and local government, she successfully persuaded Washington State to hold the first ever Father’s Day on 19 June 1910.
The day was celebrated with church services across the State. Bouquets of red and white roses were used as symbols of respect to all living and deceased fathers. For the next sixty years, Sonora spent much of her time lobbying for an annual “Father’s Day”.
In 1972, Sonora’s wish was granted. President Richard Nixon declared the third Sunday in June to be the annual date for “Father’s Day” and signed a proclamation confirming this.
Later in the 1920s, some groups thought that both Father’s and Mother’s Days were becoming too commercialised and decided a single day called “Parents Day” would be more appropriate. After all, both fathers and mothers are important in bringing up children and maintaining a happy family life, so why not celebrate the two together?
The suggestion for a joint day didn’t catch on, as after the Great Depression, American senators wanted to encourage people to spend money helping struggling retailers and to reinvigorate the economy. Two days – Mother’s and Father’s Day – encouraged more spending then one single day, so it remained as the two separate days.
So, this year, why not celebrate the easing of lockdown with a special Father’s Day? Arrange a super lunch, a picnic, a barbeque, or a traditional family roast. It’s a great excuse to get together – remember social distancing rules though! And if your father has sadly passed away, it’s a good time to remember, too.
If you do want a special Father’s Day gift then why not take a look at our website. There are lots of ideas such as useful gardening accessories, giant print playing cards, or our luxury bath pillow – just to name a few ideas!