It's Father's Day in Spain today, but why is it celebrated on different dates in some countries?
Día del Padre

It's Father's Day in Spain today, but why is it celebrated on different dates in some countries?

Dads in Spain are celebrated on St. Joseph's Day, 19 March, but many other countries follow the American tradition and mark it in June

SUR in English


Tuesday, 19 March 2024, 11:58


Today in Spain you will probably see many 'abuelos' and 'padres' sitting on café or restaurant terraces enjoying a nice meal or afternoon caña with their families as they celebrate Father's Day (Día del Padre). If you're a foreigner residing in Spain or a visitor, it might prompt you to whip out your phone and send a text message or make a phone call to wish your father in your home country well. But just hold off, because 19 March isn't celebrated as Father's Day in most other countries.

Each year this special day comes around in Spain, it prompts the same question; why isn't it celebrated on the same date in other countries?

Father's Day in Spain coincides with Saint Joseph's Day, who is referred to as the fatherly Nutritor Domini (Nourisher of the Lord) in Catholicism and respected as the putative father of Jesus in southern European tradition. Its origins date back to the 1950s. Only Portugal, Italy and Andorra follow this date to pay tribute to all fathers.

Most countries prefer to follow the tradition established in the United States in the middle of the last century. The public holiday first began in the US when a woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd listened to a Mother’s Day sermon at her church in Washington in 1909 and realised there was no special day that celebrated fathers.

Her own father was a widower who raised Dodd and her five siblings, and so to honour him she convinced Washington State to create a Father’s Day, which was celebrated statewide on June 19, 1910. Over the years that followed, more people began celebrating Father’s Day, and more countries followed suit, including Spain. Until, some time later, the country then changed the date to fit the tradition of St Joseph's Day.

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