What is the history of Father's Day and why do we celebrate it? | The Sun

FATHER'S Day is a day dedicated to showing appreciation to all our father figures.

But why do we mark the occasion past the fact that dads are great. Here's a quick bit of history for you.

What is the history of Father's Day?

There are quite a few stories about the origins of Father's Day.

The earliest version comes from ancient paganism as it happens to fall around the same day as the summer solstice.

Some pagan religions see the sun as the father of the universe, so there's a potential link there.

However, Father's Day as we know it has been around for about 110 years.

Father's Day actually comes from the United States and the story goes that it started from a memorial service for the 250 fathers who died in the Monongah Mining Disaster that killed 361 men in West Virginia in 1907.

The disaster left 1000 children fatherless. One of those kids was Grace Golden Clayton, who suggested that the city honour the dead dads to her pastor, Robert Webb, in Fairmount.

It was officially proposed by a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd, at a YMCA in Spokane, Washington in June, 1910. Her widower dad raised six kids on his own.

The idea was originally laughed off because of the macho-breadwinner attitudes around masculinity of the early 20th century but gained gradually gained presidential attention.

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President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane to speak at a Father's Day celebration in 1916.

Over the next 30 years, the date became heavily commercialised by the Americans as Dodd and Spokane brought it up with businesses that traditionally catered to men – tobacconists, tie manufacturers, card manufacturers, etc.

There was a massive drive by those companies to find a way to fill the gaps between major gift-giving dates like Christmas, Easter and Mother's day during that period and it met a fair bit of resistance.

The tradition of Father's Day is believed to have become more popular in the UK post World War 2 as American influence became more prominent.

Unlike Mother's Day, which has a more religiously-entrenched and far longer tradition, Father's Day is on the third Sunday of June every year in the US, Canada and the UK.

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Why do we celebrate Father's Day?

Obviously, we celebrate it because we love our dads and we want to celebrate the role that dads play in our lives.

It's just a cue to send them something to say thank you for being there and an excuse to go for a pint with your old man and put a smile on his face.

It's not a bank holiday or anything particularly big, but it's just a nice thing to do to show a bit of appreciation

However, if we're going to be cynical about it, it's also a major boon for companies that sell seasonal gifts like cards and "world's best dad" mugs that you wouldn't normally buy without the occasion.

Is Father's Day on the same day every year?

In the UK, Father's Day falls on the third Sunday of June each year, following Mother's Day in March.

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This means the exact date will vary every year, and as it falls on a Sunday there is no bank holiday for Father's Day.

In 2022 it is June 19, in 2023 it will fall on June 18 and in 2024 it falls on June 16.

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