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Father’s Day will take place in the UK this week.
The annual celebration allows us to show appreciation for the important father figures in our lives.
We’ve been celebrating fathers for centuries, and an annual day set aside for the celebration of fatherhood in Catholic Europe can be traced back as far as 1508.
Father’s Day 2021 is now fast-approaching, but what date does it fall on this year?
When is Father’s Day in the UK in 2021?
Father’s Day in the UK will take place on Sunday, June 20.
The occasion always lands on the third Sunday of June.
Our celebration is based on the US date, however, other countries around the world celebrate Father’s Day at different times throughout the year.
Why do we celebrate Father’s Day?
The first observance of Father’s Day in America was believed to be held on 5 July 1908 by Gracy Clayton in West Virginia, which was also the place where Mother’s Day was first observed by Anna Jarvis.
Father’s Day always lands on the third Sunday of June
Grace was mourning the loss of her father after he died in a mining accident and suggested that her pastor honour all the fathers that died in the accident.
Two years laters, on June 19, 1910, a more widespread Father’s Day commemoration took place across churches in Spokane, Washington.
This was organised by Sonora Dodd, daughter of American civil war veteran William Jackson Smart, who helped raise her younger siblings in Spokane after her mother died in childbirth.
Dodd had become inspired to organise the commemoration after attending a Mother’s Day service the year before.
Although it was originally due to take place on June 5, the date of her father’s birthday, it was delayed until the third Sunday of the month to give local pastors a chance to prepare their sermons.
During the 1920s, enthusiasm around the event lacked and it began to fade, but then during the 1930 Dodd began further promoting the celebration and raised awareness at a national level.
She gained help from trade groups she knew would benefit from the holiday, such as manufacturers of ties and tobacco pipes.
Although the celebration did gain some presidential interest, early attempts to get the holiday formally recognised were resisted.
However, Lyndon Johnson officially assigned the date of Father’s Day in 1966, and six years later, Richard Nixon signed it into law as a national holiday.
However, in the US Father’s Day is not a federal holiday, which means all stores and businesses open as usual.
In the UK, it is not recognised as a public holiday.
When do other countries around the world celebrate Father’s Day?
Some Father’s Day celebrations date back to the Catholic Europe of the Middle Ages.
This religious observance is held on March 19 in Italy and Spain, and is known as the Feast of St Joseph – the legal father of Jesus Christ.
Germany marks Father’s Day on Ascension Day in May or June, 40 days after Easter.
In Thailand, Father’s Day is celebrated on December 5. This is the birthday of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who is considered to be the Father of the Nation.
In South America, Brazil celebrates Father’s Day on the second Sunday of August, which is in honour of Saint Joachim, who is the patron saint of fathers.
Russia has continued a tradition from the Soviet Union of celebrating ‘Man’s Day’ on Defender of the Fatherland Day which falls on February 23, and marks the first mass draft into the Red Army.
Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea celebrate Father’s Day on the first Sunday in September.
Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Estonia celebrate Father’s Day on the second Sunday in November.
Elsewhere, several countries in the Middle East mark Father’s Day on June 21, which coincides with the date of the summer solstice.