Father's Day is a secular holiday inaugurated in the early twentieth century
to complement Mother's Day in celebrating fatherhood and parenting by males, and
to honor and commemorate fathers and forefathers. Father's Day is celebrated on
a variety of dates worldwide and typically involves gift-giving to fathers and
International history and traditions
In the United States, the first modern Father's Day celebration was held on July
5, 1908, in Fairmont, West Virginia.  It was first celebrated as a church
service at Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South, now known as
Central United Methodist Church. Grace Golden Clayton, who is believed to have
suggested the service to the pastor, is believed to have been inspired to
celebrate fathers after the deadly mine explosion in nearby Monongah the prior
December. This explosion killed 361 men, many of them fathers and recent
immigrants to the United States from Italy. Another possible inspiration for the
service was Mother's Day, which had recently been celebrated for the first time
in Grafton, West Virginia, a town about 15 miles (24 km) away.
Another driving force behind the establishment of the integration of Father's
Day was Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd, born in Creston, Washington. Her father, the
Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, as a single parent reared his six
children in Spokane, Washington. She was inspired by Anna Jarvis's efforts to
establish Mother's Day. Although she initially suggested June 5, the anniversary
of her father's death, she did not provide the organizers with enough time to
make arrangements, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June.
The first June Father's Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, WA.
Unofficial support from such figures as William Jennings Bryan was immediate and
widespread. President Woodrow Wilson was personally feted by his family in 1916.
President Calvin Coolidge recommended it as a national holiday in 1924. In 1966,
President Lyndon Johnson made Father's Day a holiday to be celebrated on the
third Sunday of June. The holiday was not officially recognized until 1972,
during the presidency of Richard Nixon.
In recent years, retailers have adapted to the holiday by promoting
male-oriented gifts such as electronics, tools and greeting cards. Schools and
other children's programs commonly have activities to make Father's Day gifts.
Roman Catholic tradition
In the Roman Catholic tradition, Father's Day is celebrated on Saint Joseph's
Day, 19 March, though in most countries Father's Day is a secular celebration.
In Germany father's day, Vatertag, is always celebrated on Ascension Day (the
Thursday forty days after Easter). Regionally, it is also called men's day,
Männertag, or gentlemen's day, Herrentag.
It is tradition to do a hiking tour with one or more smaller wagons, Bollerwagen,
pulled by manpower. In the wagons are wine or beer (according to region) and
traditional regional food, Hausmannskost, which could be Saumagen, Liverwurst,
Blutwurst (Blood Sausage), vegetables, eggs, etc. This tradition was famous in
the years before WW II and in the 1950s - 70, but today it is unusual.[citation
Father's Day in Taiwan is not an official holiday but is widely observed on
August 8th, which is the eighth day of the eighth month of the year. In Mandarin
Chinese, the pronunciation of the number 8 is ba. This pronunciation is very
similar to the character "?", which means "Papa" or "father". Taiwanese,
therefore, usually call August 8th in its nick name as "Ba Ba Day" (???).
In Thailand, people set the day of father day as the birthday of the king. 5
December is the birthday of king Phumiphon Adunyadet (Rama IX).
^ Barth, Kelly. "First Father's Day service in 1908", Dominion Post (Morgantown,
West Virginia), June 21, 1987. Retrieved on 2006-11-07.
^ Smith, Vicki. "The first Father's Day", Martinsburg Journal (Martinsburg, West
Virginia), June 15, 2003. Retrieved on 2006-11-07.