Happy Father's Day!
2015 marks the 43rd Fathers' Day since it was made official as a commemorative day in 1972 by Nixon. According to the National Retail Federation's 2015 Father's Day Spending Survey, $12.7 billion will be spent on gifts by Americans alone. This year's Father's Day coincides with the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere (longest day) and winter solstice in southern hemisphere (shortest day).
A day to pay tribute to fathers
The idea of Father's Day celebration was the brainchild of Ms Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, America, who was much moved by listening to a Mother's Day sermon in 1909. Sonora wanted to honor her father, who was a war veteran and had single handedly raised 6 children. She began advocating the celebration of Father's Day and was joined by the Spokane Ministerial Association.
Commercial aspect behind the fatherly tribute
Sonora Smart Dodd's cause was taken over by YMCA and various trade groups which would benefit most from the holiday. These included those manufacturing ties, tobacco pipes and other traditional present for fathers.
Father's Day meets with political approval
Fathers' Day gained President Woodrow Wilson's approval in 1916 and the cause was further championed by President Calvin Coolidge in 1924. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father's Day for 1966. In 1972, President Nixon made this proclamation permanent. In 1974, Dodd was honoured for her contributions at World's fair in Spokane.
Different countries, different dates for honoring Dads
Most countries in the world celebrate Fathers' Day on the third Sunday of June, including America, U.K. and India. In Australia, the first Sunday of September is observed as Father's Day. In Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal and Croatia it is on March 19. Finnish people celebrate it on the second Sunday of November and in Bulgaria it is same as Boxing Day-December 26.
Some 'creative' Fathers' Day celebrations
In Thailand, Father's Day is set as the birthday of the king. This year the birthday of Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) will be celebrated. In Mexico, some participate in a 21 kilometer race-the "Carrera Día del Padre 21K Bosque de Tlalpan." In Germany, Father's Day or Männertag (Men's day) is celebrated by getting drunk with wagons of beer and indulging in regional food.
Fathers' Day also a commercial success
According to greetings card makers Hallmark, Father's Day is the fourth-largest card-sending holiday with 80 million cards given every year.