ill you be celebrating Father’s Day this year in a similar way to Mother’s Day? We all know Father’s Day is not celebrated on the same scale as Mother’s Day generally, and while I’ve read some articles that try to explain why , I think the reason is simple – it’s because Fathers and Mothers are so different! What delights your Mum may well not please your Dad so much, especially those sentimental and openly affectionate gestures usually welcomed by Mums.
I’ve made a sweeping generalisation there, so let’s take a look at how Father’s Day started and see where it takes us…
Records indicate that Father’s Day was initiated in the USA in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd to honour her father, who was a single parent of six children. Mother’s Day had finally gained ‘official’ status earlier the same year and, due to her admiration for her father, Sonora felt strongly that fatherhood should be similarly recognised. Her local religious Ministers promoted her idea and decided on the 3rd Sunday in June to celebrate it.
Although recognised locally for a few years, it seems that her Father’s Day idea did not ‘take off’ nationally or internationally and she abandoned it when she went to study in Chicago in the 1920’s. Various attempts to revive and continue it were made over the next few decades but it was not until 1972 that President Richard Nixon eventually signed it into USA law as a national holiday. Lucky American families continue to enjoy it as such today.
followed some years later, although it’s not a national holiday here. There’s very little information available about exactly how and when it began to be celebrated in the UK but, in my recollection, it’s actually only in relatively recent years that it’s assumed much importance in British family life.
I’ve also found that, worldwide, it’s celebrated on various dates, with many reasons and ways to honour it. For instance, some Roman Catholic countries celebrate it on March 19 – St Joseph’s Day – to commemorate him as the earthly father of Christ. Thailand and Russia’s celebrations do not relate to a personal father – the Russian event on 23 Feb celebrates the Defender of the Fatherland and the Thai nation associate it with their King Bhumibol’s birthday on 5 December. Brazil honours Saint Joachim in August as the patron saint of families and the Catholic day of godfathers. In Germany male family members get together and make a great day of it, often featuring an outing in the countryside and a large amount of alcohol!
So, getting back to how we can please our Fathers this year,
think to yourself – what makes him the man he is? What’s his childhood history? What did he do as a young man? What are his proudest moments and achievements (apart from you!)? Hobbies and interests? What does he value? And how can you express all or, at least some, of that in a lasting gift or gesture?
As our regular readers know, we consider a coin to be one of the most lasting gifts you can give anyone. Luckily, this year’s commemorative coins from The Royal Mint cover a particularly wide range of themes suitable for masculine tastes – e.g. sports, both World Wars, nautical themes,
as well as the sheer quality of Proof-struck 2014 Sovereigns. So, bearing in mind your thoughts about your Dad’s personality, browse the section on our website dedicated to Father’s Day and choose a special coin for him - the gift that lasts a lifetime! We’re sure he’ll be impressed – with it and you!