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Happy Father's Day

Updated: Aug 22, 2022

This weekend we celebrate all the fathers, fathers-in-law, stepfathers, adoptive fathers, foster fathers, Godfathers, grandfathers, great grandfathers, and any person who is a father figure. These are the patriarchs that guide our families and today I’m going to share the history of Father’s day.

Father’s Day is a holiday in many countries around the world which honours paternal bonds, father figures and the influence of fathers in society. It is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. However several Catholic countries in Europe honour fathers on St. Josephs Day on March 19th which was established in Rome in 1479 to honour the original father Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary and legal father of Jesus Christ. Lutheran and Anglican churches also observe this day to celebrate father figures and fatherhood.

If we go even further back in time, there is suggestions the pagans celebrated sky fathers, summer solstice and sun gods. They would have rituals to honour the gods and whenever goats were sacrificed, they tied ribbons around the goats’ neck. Questions; is this the reason we give our fathers ties?

According to ancient cultures, sky fathers were sky gods who were looked upon as “fathers”. In these cultures, father’s day is closely related to summer solstice pagan practices. The word solstice comes from the Latin word solstitum which means “sun stands still”. It is the longest day of the year and shortest night. Pagans celebrated the summer solstice by sacrificing to the sun fathers (sun gods). The festivals lasted a week from June 19 – 25. It is believed Emperor Constantine in 306AD worshiped the fatherly figured sun gods on third SUNday of June and later declared every SUNday a day of worship to honour his deity(God) the SUN.

Although Father’s Day has been celebrated for hundreds of years it wasn’t celebrated in the United States until Sonora Dodd a woman from Spokane, Washington heard a sermon about how Anna Jarvis had established Mother’s Day. Sonora wanted to honour her father William Smart who was a civil war veteran and had raised her and her five siblings after his wife died in the childbirth of their sixth child. Sonora wanted to honour him on June 5th his birthday but there wouldn’t have been enough time to prepare the sermon therefore June 19, 1910 became the first time Father’s Day was celebrated. It wasn’t until 1972 that President Richard M. Nixon declared the third Sunday of June, Father’s Day, a national holiday.

As most holiday’s I’ve found even more controversy then the Christian and Pagan versions of Father’s Day. Some believe the first Father’s Day was celebrated in the United States on July 5th, 1908, when Grace Golden Clayton organized the first public Father’s Day celebration in Fairmont, West Virginia. She came up with the idea to honour fathers when a mine exploded and killed 362 men, most of them fathers. Whichever is the real founder, the celebration of the United States Father’s Day has become widespread.

In Canada our first Father’s Day celebration was recorded on June 16, 1968. Canadian’s typically celebrate by spending time with fathers or father figures, such as small family gatherings and small gifts may be part of the festivities.

Here are some great ways to celebrate the "Fathers'" in our lives:

  • Spoil him with breakfast in bed

  • Go for a hike or bike ride

  • Get the BBQ out and cook his favourite

  • Kick back and enjoy a drink together

  • Play some cards

  • Listen to old records

  • If he golfs, play a round of golf

  • Take a walk at the beach or in the mountains

  • Fly a kite

  • Build a model

  • Take a road trip

  • Ask him what he wants to do

Gift ideas for the fathers in your life:

  • Handmade card or letter to show your appreciation

  • They always seem to need tools - what have they been hinting about?

  • A custom made basket of his favourite bevvies

  • Gift card to their favourite shop

  • A round of golf at his favourite golf course

  • Photo album of cherished memories

Whatever you do this Father’s Day, do it with gusto! Make it count, make it special for the men in your life, take the time to do it right. We got through the pandemic and now is the time to start creating the moments that last a lifetime.

To my father’s reading this Happy Father’s Day! Enjoy your weekend and remember to live life well ALWAYS! To the fathers in my life and daddy up above, I love you to the moon and stars and back.

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