Father’s Day is a celebration to honor the parental bonding with the male parent – in other words, to celebrate fatherhood. This day is also a reflection of the influence of fathers or father figures in shaping the society.
This day was created to complement the already prevalent Mother’s Day. In Indian culture, the concept of celebrating Father’s Day has newly been introduced as a result of the influence of Western culture, especially that of the USA. Although it is celebrated with much enthusiasm, especially in urban India today, the concept probably came to this country only about a decade ago.
The celebration fast gained momentum because of the fact that today’s busy life does not allow people to spend much time with their family. Also, today families do not essentially live under the same roof or even same city or in many cases even the same country. As such, these special days of remembrance gives them the opportunity to connect with their loving father or a father figure to express how much they are loved, respected and cared for.
Background of Father’s Day:
The celebrations of Father’s Day became prevalent in the United States in the early 20th century to complement the existing trend of celebrating Mother’s Day. This event honors fatherhood and acknowledges the role of male parenting in a child’s life in particular and its effect on the society in general. The credit for establishing the Father’s Day in the modern day form goes to Sonora Dodd of the United States. He was moved by the fact that her father, Civil War Veteran William Jackson Smart, raised six children as a single parent. The first Father’s Day celebration was held in the Spokane YMCA on the 19th day of June in 1910.
However, this movement did not gain instant momentum, and Dodd even stopped promoting the event in the 1920s for she got busy pursuing her education. In the 1930s she got back to her hometown, and revoked her campaign and took it even to the national level with the help of trade groups that manufactured products for men. In 1938 the Father’s Day Council was formed by the New York Associated Men's Wear Retailers for a systematic promotion of the event. The Americans however resisted the event for a while. In 1957 Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote to campaign the fact that either there should be a day each to honor both the parents or there should be none. Finally in the year 1966, a Presidential proclamation was issued by President Lyndon B. Johnson designating the third Sunday of June a day to honor fathers. In 1972, President Richard Nixon passed a law to the same effect.
Father’s Day in India
In the formative years, there were many similar attempts to celebrate the love of fathers and father figures. According to some people, there was a Father’s Day church sermon that was held in West Virginia in the year 1908, and some historians honor Mrs. Charles Clayton of West Virginia to be the founder of the event. Some others believe that such celebration found its origin in Vancouver, Washington. In 1915, Harry Meek, the President of the Lion’s Club, Chicago, celebrated Father’s Day to emphasize on the need to honor fathers. In countries with Catholic influence celebrate Father’s Day on March 19 to commemorate St. Joseph’s Day, the Father of Jesus.
Date of Father’s Day in the Next Five Years:
In India, Father’s Day is celebrated in accordance with the prevalent customs in the United States of America, and also in the United Kingdom on the third Sunday of the month of June, each year.
- In 2014, Father’s Day would be on Sunday, June 15.
- In 2015, Father’s Day would be on Sunday, June 21.
- In 2016, Father’s Day would be on Sunday, June 19.
- In 2017, Father’s Day would be on Sunday, June 18.
- In 2018, Father’s Day would be on Sunday, June 17.
Public life on Father’s Day in India:
Although the celebrations of Father’s Day have caught up with people in India, there is no change in public life in India. All retails and businesses are open on this day. Public transportation system operates normally on this day. The only hitch that a person may face is a high waiting time in certain places like restaurants, theatres etc.
Celebrations in India:
Father’s Day celebrations in India are very similar to the way the festival takes place in the United Kingdom or in the United States of America, although in a much tamed down version as compared to the west. Another significant factor is that it is celebrated with greater enthusiasm in the urban areas due to greater exposure to information; while the rural parts of India are yet to catch up in this aspect. The greeting card companies and the gifting portals start advertising about the event long before it is due. In fact their advertising plays a vital role in spreading awareness about the event even in small towns and suburban areas.
The day starts by people expressing gratitude and love towards their father, mentor or a person they look up to as a father figure. Having a day out with daddy is another popular custom – so the movie theatres, restaurants and other places of interest are crowded on this day. Schools and some organizations working for the welfare of children take up this day to promote bonding among a father and child. A father is encouraged to spend more time with his ward/s, get more involved in the growing up years of a child; while children are taught to pay due respect to their father, and also to build up a strong bonding whereby both of them would take care of each other all their life.