Father’s Day in the United Kingdom is mostly an influence from the trends that created a huge wave in the American society. The dates too tally with those of the United States. The day was promoted to be the counterpart of Mother’s Day that was existent for a while.
It was upheld that just as there is a day to appreciate the role and influence of mother in a person’s life, there should also be a day to commemorate and honor the role of a father or a father figure in one’s life.
It is a day to pay tribute to one’s father or other paternal males like grandfather, uncle, teacher, mentor, or any other such person who has touched the life of an individual in a significant manner. It is a day to honor, reaffirm and strengthen the bond between a person and her/ his father or father figure. In United Kingdom the day is observed annually on the third Sunday of the month of June.
Background of Father’s Day:
Origin of Father’s Day in the United Kingdom is only of recent origin, and it got popular only in the 1970s. The idea was imbibed in the English culture as an influence of its prevalence in the United States. However, some historians claim that the origin of Father’s Day dates back to more than four thousand years ago when it is found that a young boy named Elmesu in Babylon had carved a card with a Father’s Day message.
The claim to making Father’s Day famous in the recent times however goes to Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, USA, who in the year 1910 introduced the concept at the YMCA, who wanted to honor the contribution of her father in the her life and in that of her siblings. Her father, a Civil War veteran, had raised six children on his own. Although Dodd’s efforts did not meet with instant success, she was pretty persistent, until she finally established the day as a National Holiday in USA in 1972. Its ripple effect made the celebrations spread to other countries including UK.
Some Catholic Churches prefer to celebrate this day on March 19 each year, which is Saint Joseph’s Day.
Date of Father’s Day in the Next Five Years:
In United Kingdom, Father’s Day is celebrated 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.
Observances on Father’s Day:
Father’s Day in the UK is a relatively newer introduction, and as such there is no set norm or mandate to celebrate the day. People generally stick to the essence of the day which is to honor the role of a male parent in the journey of one’s life and this encompasses father figures like mentors, teachers, relatives, friends or extended family. The general ambience is of merrymaking, and the generic idea is to show your father or father figure how much you care and love him/ them and also appreciate his/ their presence in your life. Some people are not too keen on this mode of celebration for they feel it is an outcome of commercialization; while others hold on to the opportunity of expression of love in today’s busy world when such time is getting rarer.
For some the day is commemorated with a phone call, greeting card or a small intimate gift; while others prefer to celebrate in style with a gala party. Retailers too take up this opportunity to woo buyers with gift options suitable for father/ father figures – all one has to do is to pick one according to your taste and budget and then see the twinkle in the special person’s eyes. In the early 1900s it was a custom to wear a rose in the lapel in honor of one’s father on this day – a white rose for those whose father has deceased, and red rose for those who are lucky to have their father around them. However, with time this custom got diluted, and today most people do not even remember about it.