Father’s Day, because it is celebrated on March 19th

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Whether you call him dad or dad, nothing changes, today is his feast, established in the last century, after that of his mother. Father’s day was born in the early twentieth century when that of mothers already existed. In Italy it is celebrated on March 19, on the day of the Catholic Saint Joseph. Not so for the rest of the world. The date is different for other countries.

Father’s first day

The origins appear to be documented in the United States. On July 19, 1910, the governor of Washington State proclaimed the nation’s first “Father’s Day”. Sonora Smart Dood, probably inspired by a sermon heard on Mother’s Day the previous year, dedicated the holiday to war veteran William Jackson Smith, a symbol of her father figure. Earlier, in 1908, the Father’s Day cause had been supported by a Virginia church with a sermon in memory of 362 men who died in a mine collapse. In 1909 a woman raised by a widower along with her five brothers had already tried to create the anniversary.

Secular or religious holiday?

Solemnity of St. Joseph, husband of the blessed Virgin Mary: a just man, born of the lineage of David, he acted as a father to the Son of God Jesus Christ, who wanted to be called the son of Joseph and be subjected to him as a son to his father. The Church venerates him with special honor as patron, placed by the Lord to guard his family ”. The Roman Martyrology, the book that collects the liturgical calendar and religious feasts, and this is read for March 19. With us it is Father’s Day, a secular feast that in other countries is celebrated on the third Sunday of June.

March 19

As in other countries of Catholic tradition, in Italy the day of St. Joseph, husband of Mary, the man who raised Jesus, an example of a model father and husband, was chosen as the date for the anniversary. According to tradition, St. Joseph also protects orphans and unmarried girls. During the holidays it is traditional in Sicily to invite the poor to lunch. In different areas this anniversary coincides with the end of winter. Among the first to celebrate the saint on this date were the Benedictine monks in 1030, the Servants of Mary in 1324 and the Franciscans starting from 1399.


Even the typical dessert of the festival, the zeppola, collects a biblical tradition. The origin is in the story of the flight into Egypt. In order to support the family at that time, Giuseppe had to sell pancakes.

The other dates

Father’s Day is the third Sunday in June in many countries around the world, starting with the United States. Estiva is the date of its establishment in the United States and for this reason it remained in June even when President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed it a national holiday in 1966. In Russia it is February 23 and fathers are remembered as defenders of the homeland. In South Korea, May 8 is Parents’ Day. In Denmark it is June 5, the day dedicated to the Constitution. In Germany it is celebrated on Ascension Day, 40 days after Easter. It is called Männertag or Herrentag, men’s day. Many countries celebrate in the summer, but it goes until December, the 5th, in Thailand, where the festival coincides with the birthday of the late ruler Rama IX, father of the nation.

Dad or dad

«Father is the true and noble voice. Santa is a child’s voice. Papa is a French affectation that rings in the mouths of those fools, who think they can show themselves more demanding by mimicking foreigners. ” The update of the Vocabulary of synonyms of the Italian language by Pietro Fanfani of 1865 with the term father was not tender. That French affectation has become common in the Italian language, so much so that today we celebrate Father’s Day, not Father’s Day, even if obviously the party is worth choosing one or the other wording. Santa is not only used in Tuscany, but also in Emilia-Romagna, Umbria, Marche and Sardinia. It counts as dad, indeed it is an indigenous, local form, while the one with p is a Frenchism. There was no dad in the nineteenth-century vocabulary. Father was the noble term, father the affectionate one of children. In the twentieth century the trend is reversed: the father takes over and the father becomes a regionalism.

Source: Vanity Fair

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