The day dedicated to all dads is approaching and that means looking for the perfect gift for ours, which translates into the words ‘I love you’. Many look to the web for inspiration and gift ideas for Father’s Day. The goal? To choose the right, most suitable gift without being unimaginative.
The origins of father’s day
Father’s day originated in the early decades of the twentieth century to celebrate the figure of the father and fatherhood. In Italy and in other Catholic countries, St Joseph’s day is celebrated on 19th March. According to the faith, it is the day of Joseph’s death, the man who raised Jesus, an example of a model father and husband.
In other countries, Father’s Day has different origins and traditions. From the United States to the United Kingdom, from China to Japan, Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June. The celebration on this date came from an idea of a girl from Spokelane, in the state of Washington, named Sonora Smart Dodd. In 1909, while attending the sermon on Mother’s Day, she decided to celebrate Father’s Day in honour of hers, a war veteran, who raised his children after the death of his wife during childbirth. On 19 June 1910, the first Father’s Day was celebrated in the United States, in the same month in which Sonora Dodd’s father was born.
In Germany, Father’s Day dates back to the early nineteenth century and coincides with Ascension Day, forty days after Easter. It’s called Männertag or Herrentag, or “men’s day”, and is celebrated in many German cities where groups of men gather and push a cart with alcoholic drinks through the streets. However, in Scandinavian countries it’s celebrated on the second Sunday in November.
In other countries, the festivity is linked to fathers in their National roles, as in Russia, where the feast of the defenders of the fatherland (День защитника Отечества) is celebrated on 23 February, and in Thailand, on 5 December, which coincides with the birthday of Rama IX, the late ruler worshiped as the father of the nation.
In Italy, as mentioned above, the festivity is celebrated on 19 March. Two types of events converge on this date and are common to almost all regions of Italy: bonfires and traditional doughnuts called zeppole. The feast of St Joseph coincides with the day on which winter ends and there is the transition to the spring season, thereby overlapping the days of agricultural purification. The bonfire marks the passage from one season to the next by burning a scarecrow. Even the typical dessert of the festival, the zeppola, has a biblical tradition. According to legend, Giuseppe sold doughnuts to maintain his family in that period.
This post is also available in: Italian