Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June every year. Where would we be without dads? Honestly, who would show off ‘dad jeans,’ tell the same somewhat amusing jokes at Thanksgiving, or spin those charming childhood stories? But of course, there’s far more to dads than their wardrobe choices and endless nostalgia for the ‘good old days’ (Elton John, David Bowie, and Queen — we get it). Still, dads are heroes. On June 16 be sure to let your dad know how much he means to you. If you want to treat your father to a little something special then check out our gift guide.
5 INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES FOR FATHER’S DAY
“A father is neither an anchor to hold us back, nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way.” – Unknown
“Any man can be a father, it takes someone special to be a Dad.” – Anne Geddes
“My Father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived and let me watch him do it.” – Clarence Budington Kelland
“Dads are most ordinary men turned by love into heroes, adventurers, story-tellers, and singers of song.” – Pam Brown
“A Father is someone you look up to no matter how tall you grow.” – Unknown
When is Father's Day 2024?
The backbone of the family and source of the quirky dad jokes we all know and love is celebrated on Father’s Day on June 16 this year.
History of Father's Day
Far from a “Hallmark holiday,” Father’s Day has its origins in medieval Europe, when Catholics dedicated a day to honoring fathers, fatherhood, and all paternal relationships. Fast forward a couple hundred years, and it’s now a holiday held all over the world — a testament to how important fathers and father figures are in societies everywhere. However, be careful. The date fluctuates around the world. In Spain, for example, it’s held on March 19, while in New Zealand, it’s the first Sunday in September. Keep this in mind if you’re traveling, or have family living overseas. There are few things more upsetting than a disappointed dad.
Father’s Day in America has a rich history dating back to the turn of the 20thcentury. But to really understand Father’s Day we must go back to the post-civil war reconstruction era of the 1860s and a day that celebrates the other half of the parenting duo, mothers.
The idea of celebrating parents has its roots in one woman: Ann Reeves Jarvis. Shortly after the Civil War, Jarvis sought to soothe the wounds created over four years of bitter conflict in one divided West Virginia town by choosing a day to celebrate mothers of both confederate and Union soldiers. Known as “Mother’s Work Days” Jarvis hoped that during the newly installed era of peace and reconciliation that previous enemies could begin to sow unity again by celebrating one thing they all had in common.
Father's Day timeline
Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington organizes the first Father's Day celebration on her own father’s birthday.
President Lyndon Johnson signs a proclamation calling for Father's Day to be celebrated on the third Sunday of June.
President Richard Nixon signs into law a permanent recognition of Father's Day.
There are 176,000 stay-at-home dads caring for 32,000 children.
Relive the traditions that you have had with your father while growing up on Father’s Day. The ball games you played, that snack you both like to binge on at midnight secretly without your mother knowing — today is the day to share these experiences with your old man.
Fathers are among the most difficult relations to buy a present for. Where mothers can be lavished with flowers and spa days, it is not that simple when it comes to dads. If your dad has a hobby, buy something related to that. Gift cards for his favorite store work great as well. You can also prepare your dad’s favorite meal and give him the royal treatment by letting him have the comfiest chair and letting him choose what you’re watching on TV.
By the Numbers
$14 billion – the money spent on Father’s Day gifts in America in 2016.
34% – the percentage of Father’s Day shoppers who buy their dad a gift online.
$160 – the amount millennials spent on average on Father’s Day gifts in 2015.
$17 billion – the spending on Father’s Day in 2020.
75% – the percentage of people who celebrated Father’s Day in 2020.
37% – the percentage of dads who say they want gift cards for Father’s Day.
87 million – the number of greeting cards sold for Father’s Day.
4th – the ranking of Father’s Day as the largest card-sending occasion.
50% – the percentage of all Father’s Day cards that are purchased for fathers — the rest are for husbands, grandfathers, sons, brothers, etc.
20% – the percentage of all Father’s Day cards bought by wives for their husbands.
Father's Day FAQs
Which date is International Father's Day?
Falling on the third Sunday of June, International Father’s Day will be celebrated on June 16 this year.
Why is Father's Day celebrated on different dates?
Sonora Smart Dodd, the daughter of an American Civil War veteran, gets credit for establishing Father’s Day. She suggested June 5, her father’s birthday, but her pastor couldn’t prepare a sermon in time. They delayed the occasion until the third Sunday of the month.
How did Father's Day start?
Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington was the first to celebrate Father’s Day on her father’s birthday. The holiday took off from there.
Why Father's Day and not Fathers' Day?
Although Sonora Smart Dodd originally used the “Fathers’ Day” spelling on her original petition for the holiday, the bill Congress voted on had the alternate spelling. This enables the holiday to apply to individual fathers — as opposed to fathers as a whole.
Father's Day Activities
Make him feel appreciated
One of the best ways to celebrate is to let him know how much you appreciate him. In the days or weeks leading up to Father’s Day, make note of all he does for the household on a daily basis. Then, on Father’s Day, tell him how much you appreciate these small things, and that it doesn’t go unnoticed. Even better, take on these chores or activities for the day, and let him rest and bask in the glow of familial appreciation.
Have a family day
It may be Father’s Day, but often you’ll find what fathers want most in the end is time with the whole family. Talk to dad and see how he feels about a family outing, and choose something everyone, at any age, can take part in. This will give him plenty of memories and stories to bring up at later family gatherings, and what could he want more than that?
Find a gift with meaning
Sure, a new weed trimmer would make him happy, but there’s always room for creativity when giving gifts. A gift with meaning, rather than functionality, may be a welcome change this year. Nostalgic items and homemade projects are always a good idea, but whatever it is, be sure it shows how much you appreciate having dad around, and everything he’s taught you.
5 THINGS DADS LIKE TO DO
Dads love to play golf — we think it’s because it takes place on a giant lawn that they don’t have to mow, or perhaps it’s because they tap into their inner speed demon whirling around the course with reckless abandon on those electric golf carts.
Dads are never satisfied with just watching one episode of “NCIS,” they need to toggle back and forth between that and reruns of “CSI Miami” and “Law & Order.”
Calling at inopportune times
Dads love to call you (either on the phone or from the bottom of the stairs in a loud booming voice) at the worst possible times.
Telling horrible jokes
This is one thing dads do that we love to hate (but secretly love to love) — dad jokes are silly, sometimes witty, but eminently embarrassing quips that are often composed of the best/worst puns you’ve ever heard.
Dads love fire — it taps into their primordial desire to provide for the family, and we know that dads know their way around a kitchen, but their true love is outdoor cooking.
Why We Love Father's Day
For better or worse, they make us laugh
Even the most embarrassing dad moments will always make for laugh-out-loud stories later on. And someday you’ll cherish all those times you rolled your eyes at the jokes he tried to tell the waiter at lunch. Dads make us laugh, even if we don’t see it at the time, and that will always be one of their greatest contributions.
They’re great teachers
Changing tires and fixing lawnmowers are just some of dad’s greatest teachings. Dads have been passing along their wisdom for generations, and we can never overlook that. From learning how to work a sickle at the dawn of civilization to showing us how to clean the food gunk out of the kitchen sink, dads have been there through it all to show us the way.
They’re forever patient
Dads put up with a lot. From playing prince (or princess) with their kids to taking care of whatever pet the rest of the family brings home, we can count on dad to come to love it eventually, even if he puts up a small fuss initially. And we can’t thank them enough for this.
Father's Day dates
How to Say Father's Day in Other Languages
|Fête des Pères
|Día del Padre