MNA Feature Desk: An special day for a special person – Father’s day is just like that as it is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society.
This Sunday, families across the world will mark the special bond between fathers and their children. For many, this is often done through the giving of gifts and cards. Others prefer to enjoy a meal and quality time.
Father’s Day across the world
The date when Father’s Day is celebrated varies from country to country. It is celebrated in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States on the third Sunday of June. It is also observed in countries such as Argentina, Canada, France, Greece, India, Ireland, Mexico, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, and Venezuela.
In Australia and New Zealand Father’s Day is on the first Sunday in September. In Thailand it is celebrated on December 5, which is the birthday of the country’s king. Brazilian dads are honored on the second Sunday of August.
On Father’s Day many people make a special effort for their fathers or father figures. Some people visit their fathers, while others give cards, flowers or other gifts, such as clothing or sporting equipment, or luxury food items.
Father’s Day is a relatively modern holiday, so different families have different traditions. These can range from a simple phone call or greetings card to large parties honoring all father figures in an extended family. Father figures can include fathers, step-fathers, fathers-in-law, grandfathers, great-grandfathers and even other male relatives.
Father’s Day in Bangladesh is a relatively new concept but it is celebrated in similar ways as in the United Kingdom or the United States, although on a smaller scale. There is a greater awareness of Father’s Day events in metropolitan cities and bigger towns due to the greater exposure of people to the western cultures in these areas.
International history and traditions
Father’s Day was inaugurated in the early 20th century to complement Mother’s Day in celebrating fathers and male parenting.
After Anna Jarvis’ successful promotion of Mother’s Day in Grafton, West Virginia, the first observance of a ‘Father’s Day’ was held on July 5, 1908, in Fairmont, West Virginia, in the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South, now known as Central United Methodist Church.
Grace Golden Clayton was mourning the loss of her father when, on December 1907, the Monongah Mining Disaster in nearby Monongah killed 361 men, 250 of them fathers, leaving around a thousand fatherless children. Clayton suggested her pastor Robert Thomas Webb to honor all those fathers.
Clayton’s event did not have repercussions outside of Fairmont for several reasons, among them; the city was overwhelmed by other events, the celebration was never promoted outside of the town itself and no proclamation was made in the city council.
Also two events overshadowed this event: the celebration of Independence Day July 4, 1908, with 12,000 attendants and several shows including a hot air balloon event, which took over the headlines in the following days, and the death of a 16-year-old girl on July 4.
The local church and council were overwhelmed and they did not even think of promoting the event, and it was not celebrated again for many years. The original sermon was not reproduced in press and it was lost. Finally, Clayton was a quiet person, who never promoted the event or even talked to other persons about it.