In Catholic Europe, Father’s Day has been a civic celebration on March 19 (St. Joseph's Day) since the medieval era. This celebration was brought by the Spanish and Portuguese to Latin America. In contrast, Father's Day was not celebrated in the US, outside Catholic traditions, until the 20th century. It was inaugurated in the early 20th century to complement Mother's Day by celebrating fathers and male parenting.
After Anna Jarvis' promotion of Mother's Day in Grafton, West Virginia in 1908, the first observance of a "Father's Day" was held on July 5 of the same year, in Fairmont, West Virginia. Grace Golden Clayton was mourning the loss of her father, when in December 1907, the Monongah Mining Disaster killed 361 men, 250 of them fathers.
Sonora Smart Dodd in Spokane, Washington, among other Americans in the 20th century, also advocated for Father’s Day. People came to believe that that there ought to be a mother’s day equivalent for fathers. Father’s Day became official in 1972 in America.
Countries around the world celebrate Father's Day at different times of the year, according to each particular father figure or history of the nation.
In North America, the United Kingdom, and many countries following the American norm, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June.
Australia and New Zealand celebrate Father’s Day on the first Sunday in September, which is also the first Sunday of spring in Australia.
In Brazil, Father's Day (Dia dos Pais, in Portuguese) is celebrated on the second Sunday of August. Publicist Sylvio Bhering picked the day in honor of Saint Joachim, patron of fathers and the father of Mary.
In People's Republic of China, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June according to international norms, while Taiwan the Republic of China keeps its Chinese tradition of “Ba-Ba Jie/Father’s Day” on August 8, determined by the fact that the eighth (ba) day of the eighth (ba) month makes two "eights" (八八, ba-ba), homophones for the colloquial form of "daddy" (ba-ba，爸爸).
Germans relish their own version of Father’s Day. On the 40th day of Easter, Ascension Day, German men organize hikes and other gatherings, along with ample food and alcohol.
In Thailand, people celebrate fathers on December 5, the birthday of the widely admired King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Thais celebrate traditionally by giving canna flowers (ดอกพุทธรักษา Dok Buddha Ruksa) to father figures. Nowadays, they wear yellow to show respect for King Bhumibol Adulyadej, because yellow is the color of the day for Monday, the day the late king was born.
In Russia, Father’s Day celebration has evolved from a military commemoration to an unofficial tribute to all men on Feb. 23, Defender of the Fatherland Day. Parades honor the Russian Armed Forces, while men receive gifts of gratitude.
In Denmark, Father's Day is celebrated on June 5, the country’s Constitution Day, in Estonia, Sweden, Norway and Finland, the second Sunday of November, in Haiti, the last Sunday of June, in Indonesia, November 12, in Israel, May 1 together with Workers' Day or Labor Day. In South Korea, Parents' day (for both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day) is celebrated on May 8, while in Nepal fathers are honored on the day of Gokarna Aunsi, which occurs in late August or early September, depending on the lunar calendar. In Latvia, Father's Day (Tēvu diena) is celebrated on the second Sunday of September, Lithuania, the first Sunday of June, Poland, June 23, Samoa, the second Sunday in August, United Arab Emirates, June 21, and Ukraine, the third Sunday of September.
However varied Father’s Day around the world is, fatherhood is key to bonding families and communities. Fathers ought to be honored, as significant pillars and foundations of society.