Father’s Day 2018: When is Father’s Day in the UK and US and are they on the same date | Life | Life & Style



Mums have already enjoyed Mother’s Day in 2018 – and now is the time for dads everywhere to take the spotlight.

But like Mothering Sunday, the date of Father’s Day changes slightly every year, meaning it can be hard to remember.

Different countries and cultures also mark the occasion at various times of the year.

When is Father’s Day in the UK and US? Are they on the same date?

Every year, Father’s Day is marked on the third Sunday of June in both the UK and the , making the date Sunday, June 17 this year.

Thailand celebrates Father’s Day on December 5, the official birthday of the country’s king, while in Australia and New Zealand, it is the first Sunday of September.

Germany chooses Ascension Day, also known as Holy Thursday, marking the ascension of Jesus into heaven on the fortieth day of Easter.

In South Korea the date is May 8 while in Italy, the festival is marked on Saint Joseph’s Day, which is March 19.

How did Father’s Day start?

Several theories abound as to the origin of Father’s Day, with the first known observations dating back to the Middle Ages. 

Then, Catholic Europe marked Father’s Day on St Joseph’s Day in recognition of the figure married to Mary, Jesus’ mother, and became his legal paternal guardian.

Some Catholic or Christian countries, including Spain, continue to adopt this date today in recognition.

Father’s Day was later taken to the Americas by the Spanish and Portuguese, but the tradition did not become prominent in the US outside of religious circles until the 20th century.

Thanks can be given to social activist Anna Jarvis, who successfully campaigned for an annual Mother’s day holiday to be held following the death of her mother in 1905.

Jarvis held a memorial for mother and all mothers at Andrew Methodist Episcopal Church in West Virginia, on May 10, 1908, and her influence saw people across the country adopting the day as an annual celebration enabling Father’s Day to follow suit.

But another theory says Father’s Day was born out of the tragic Monongah mining disaster.

The disaster was the US’s worst mining disaster in history, killing 362 men, 210 of whom were fathers. 

One daughter who lost her dad, Grace Golden Clayton, suggested a memorial day for the dead to her local Methodist pastor and the first Father’s Day took place on July 5, 1908.

The event was largely confined to the region but two years later, the daughter of a Civil War veteran raised the idea of an annual celebration after hearing a sermon about Mother’s Day.

Sonora Smart Dodd, from Washington, believed fathers should also be honoured in the same way.

One of six children, Dodd was influenced by her father becoming a single parent of six after her mother died in childbirth.

Attempts to make the day a recognised federal holiday had several false starts.

The date was finally honoured by President Nixon in 1972, shortly before his resignation from office.

In the UK, the date entered into British popular culture sometime after the Second World War.


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