Ever wonder how Dads became the stars of June? No, Father’s Day wasn’t created by a greeting card company. Instead, its roots date way back to Spokane, Washington in 1909. That was when Ms. Sonora Dodd, one of six children raised by a civil war veteran and widower, lobbied to have Dads celebrated in the same way that Moms were. She proposed her own father’s birthday – June 5th – as the official day. After vigorous campaigning at local churches, the YMCA, and with shopkeepers and government officials, Ms. Dodd finally met success on June 19, 1920 when Father’s Day was honoured on a small scale for the first time, in Washington state.
It took 50 more years for Father’s Day to become official
Acceptance of Father’s Day grew slowly. Many men deemed the whole idea to be too sentimental and un-manly. Then the 1920s and 1930s saw a short-lived movement to celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day together. During WWII, Father’s Day re-entered the spotlight as a way to honour those men fighting in the war. While U.S. Presidents Wilson and Coolidge supported the idea of Father’s Day, the holiday didn’t gain significant traction until 1966, when Lyndon Johnson signed a Presidential Proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day. It took 6 more years for Richard Nixon to officially declare the holiday as federal; it was in 1972 that the U.S. and Canada began honouring Dads with small gifts and special meals in the same way we do today.
Not all Father’s Days are celebrated the same.
While most of the world honours Dads, many countries mark Father’s Day on different days and in ways unique to their cultures:
Germany celebrates on the 40th day of Easter by organizing vigorous all-male hikes, accompanied by wagons filled with large quantities of wine, beer and food.
Russia celebrates Father’s Day on Feb 23rd with a distinct military tie-in. Called the Defender of the Fatherland Day, the day is marked by parades honouring the Russian Armed Forces; the country’s men also receive small gifts from the women in their lives.
South Africa celebrates on the third Sunday of June in a similar fashion to North America. But in South Africa, families tend to get together to fish, have a picnic or enjoy a meal in a restaurant.
Mexico celebrates Dia del Padre on the third Sunday of June, with Dads participating in a lively 21 km race across Mexico City.
Thailand celebrates on December 5th by honouring the birthday of their current king. Dads are given a Canna flower and everyone wears yellow — the colour of the day King Bhumibol Adulyadej was born. Houses and shops display photos of the king and the country’s flag, guest books at shop entrances record people’s greetings to the king, there are free concerts, a candlelight ceremony and fireworks.
Japan celebrates Chichi No Hi on the third Sunday of June. Kids present their Dads with homemade gifts such as origami, beer glasses or sweets. Afterwards, most families celebrate over seafood.
Brazil celebrates Dia dos Pais on the second Sunday of August with meat, meat and more meat at all-you-can-eat barbecues or churrascos at home, or out at a Brazilian steakhouse.
Let’s celebrate Dads for all that they do!
Just like Moms, today’s Dads take on many roles: parent, partner, spouse, provider, protector, coach, teacher … the list is long and easily attests to how valuable Dads are to their families. If you’re a Dad, you know how important it is to look after your family – especially when it comes to their financial well-being. Purchasing a Life Insurance policy is one way to protect those you love, while giving you peace of mind. Canada Protection Plan has many easy-to-apply-for options to choose from with coverage up to $1 million, as well as No Medical plans with coverage up to $500,000.