Why do we celebrate Father’s Day?
I have the huge privilege of being a stepdad, a granddad, a sort of adopted dad, dad-in-law and a dad. That’s five types of dad and I love all five roles albeit that I prefer to lump them into one. I often lump all my children into one heading of “kids” even though some of them are fast approaching their middle years! They are a tribe, but I do have huge respect for each and every different one of them.
It would be too immodest to say I like Father’s Day, but it is a day when warmth, love and respect are all wrapped up in a great deal of banter and sent in my direction. Who could not enjoy such a gift?
Where does Father’s Day come from?
It is widely celebrated today, but where did Father’s Day come from? The most common idea was that it flows from America in the early 1900s. Several people lay claim to that but the whole concept is much, much older. If we look back into the Bible we have the Prayer for Father’s in St John. This relates to St Joseph’s day in March to celebrate father’s, as Joseph was the celibate father of Jesus. In many religious ceremonies around the world, father’s are celebrated as the true givers of life – clearly, Mums have nothing to do with it!
In the Hindu religion, Lord Brahma was the first Patriarch and is called Pitaamaha and regarded as the Paternal Grandfather. Although he is frequently venerated in prayer, he doesn’t have a particular day attributed to him. Later, many Hindus have adopted the Father’s Day pertinent to the Father’s Day of the country in which they live and some pray to Pitaamaha on that day.
In the Sikh religion, father’s make a silent promise on Father’s Day to their newborn child to always be part of their life. In that respect, a Father’s Day gift is from the father to his children. Mothers make a promise too. They promise to help the father perform his role and stay a part of their child’s life. Although I am not a Sikh, I like this very much and, with my wife who is a superb mother, this works really well.
Father’s Day Gifts
So how about Father’s Day gifts? In America, gifts were made of roses of remembrance, giving red for the living and white for the deceased. This started after the Monongah Mining disaster in 1907, when 361 men died – 250 of them were father’s. In the Far East, there are various flowers associated with masculinity and these are given on special days for father’s.
After the American Civil war, memorial hair jewellery was given to women who had lost a husband or a son. Occasionally this practice was extended to giving similar jewellery to their father’s. Often these were in the form of a cross or a pocket watch fob.