Father’s Day, the celebration of the paternal bond, is observed on the third Sunday of June. This year the date is 20 June, 2021.
The aim of the day to express appreciation and acknowledge the role of the father figure in children’s lives, and society as a whole. UNICEF, too, had harped on the critical role the fathers play in early childhood learning.
The celebration of this lovely, warm paternal bond is quite popular all over the world, though the dates of observance might differ in some countries.
India follows the American date which is the third Sunday of June.
Why Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June:
Father’s Day originated in the United States. It was on 19 June, 1910, the first Father’s Day celebration took place.
Sonora Dodd, the daughter of American Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart had requested the Spokane Ministerial Alliance observe 5 June which was her father’s birthday, to honor fatherhood. Her father had raised six children, as a single parent. Her deep sense of gratitude, love propelled her to make this request.
She was also inspired by Anna Jarvis’ endeavor to bring about Mother’s Day, and proposed the Father’s Day idea.
Finally, the Church agreed upon the third Sunday of June to commemorate. Following which, much later in 1966, President Lyndon B Johnson announced the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day as he signed a presidential proclamation.
Almost 62 years later from 1910, Father’s Day was declared as a national holiday by Richard Nixon who was the then President of the US (1972).
There is also information that states Father’s Day was observed on 5 July, 1908, in West Virginia after a mining accident in Monongah, USA, to honour the fathers who lost their lives in the disaster.
Speaking of Father’s Day history, it would be interesting to note the dates followed by other countries.
Catholic European countries like Portugal, Spain, Croatia, Italy celebrate Father’s Day on 19 March which is St Joseph’s Day.
Norway, Sweden and Finland observe the second Sunday in November. For Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, it’s the first Sunday of September. Russia celebrates the day on 23 February.