Vati, Papa, Daddy – in honor of men: worldwide traditions for Father's Day

Next Thursday Germany celebrates Father’s Day – reason enough to do a little research on where this tradition comes from and how it’s celebrated in other countries. And maybe you even find some inspiration on how to say thank you to your father…

Where does it come from?

Just as Mother’s Day, the Father’s Day has its origins in the United States. In 1909 Sonora Smart Dodd wanted to honor her dad, a war veteran who after the death of his wife raised Sonora and her five siblings on his own. The idea made its way out of the US into the world – however, no worldwide consistent date for Father’s Day exists.

Men among themselves

In Germany some unofficial versions of Father’s Day already existed in the 19th century, but just as is still often the case, they were rather Gentlemen’s or Men’s Day. The most popular form of celebrating the Father’s Day has always consisted out of three components: men, alcohol and hiking. Groups of men (if father or not is rather neglectable) meet for a hike, whereby especially one thing is not to be missed: a decorated handcart („Bollerwagen“) filled with loads of alcohol. The most important rule for Men’s Day: women and kids have to stay at home.

However, the trend of celebrating the Father’s Day with the family has been growing (mainly among „real“ dads). The Friday after is often used as a bridging day resulting in a long weekend – perfect for a short vacation, for example in the Hotel Speicher am Ziegelsee: eleven wonderful lakes and a nature reserve wait to be explored. The lakes do not only invite guests to swim but also offer a variety of water sports. You can also find your relaxing break at the Hotel Niedersachsen on Sylt. In only 100 meter distance to the beach it is the ideal place to start exploring the island and the world heritage site Wadden sea.

Father’s Day = Family Day

Many other countries, e.g. Italy, US and Sweden, are rather holding on to the initial idea of the Father’s Day. Here the Father’s Day is a important day for the whole family and is celebrated together; kids do some handicrafts in schools and kindergartens. Especially in the US the father-son-relationship plays a significant role and is deepened with fishing tours or sporting activities. Sweden and some other Scandinavian countries changed the date of the Father’s Day to the second Sunday in November: the time lag between Mother’s and Father’s Day is supposed to ensure that both receive the same importance.

Yellow clothes in honor of the king

In Thailand the Father’s Day is celebrated on the 5th of December, the birthday of the deceased king Bhumibol Adulyade. To show their worship of the king, many Thais wear yellow clothes on Father’s Day. Yellow stands for Monday, the week day on which king Adulyade was born. But not only the king is being honored: traditionally kids give their dads a Canna flower which is thought of as a masculine flower.

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