The Origin of Father's Day

Why does father's day change every year

Why does father's day change every year

Father's Day is a special holiday dedicated to celebrating and honouring fathers and father figures worldwide. While Mother's Day has been an official holiday for a bit longer, Father's Day has found its place in people's hearts and calendars. However, unlike some holidays that are fixed to a specific date, the date of Father's Day fluctuates yearly, leading many to wonder: Why does Father's Day change every year?

The Origin of Father's Day

Father's Day was first celebrated in the United States in 1910, thanks to the efforts of Sonora Smart Dodd. Inspired by Mother's Day, Dodd wanted to establish a day to honor fathers like her own, a Civil War veteran who raised six children as a single parent. The celebration gained popularity over time and was officially recognized nationally in 1972 when President Richard Nixon signed it into law.

The Reason for the Holiday Shift

Unlike birthdays or historical events that are commemorated on fixed dates, Father's Day is a floating holiday. It is observed on the third Sunday of June in the United States and in many other countries. This means that the date changes every year, but it always falls within the same range of dates—from June 15th to June 21st.

The idea behind having Father's Day on a Sunday was to allow families to spend more time together, as Sunday was traditionally a non-working day for most people. This decision ensured that families could celebrate without the constraints of work schedules, and it provided a consistent day of the week for celebrations, which could include anything from a simple family meal to larger gatherings and events.

Holiday Date Fluctuation

The fluctuation of Father's Day is due to the way our calendar system works. The Gregorian calendar, which is widely used, is not perfectly aligned with the solar year, which is the time it takes the Earth to orbit the sun. To keep our calendar in sync with the solar year, we have leap years and variable-length months, which result in holidays like Father's Day that are based on a particular week of a month shifting dates each year.

Father's Day Calendar

by Gabriel Tovar (

Other Countries, Different Dates

It's also interesting to note that not all countries celebrate Father's Day on the third Sunday of June. For example, in Australia and New Zealand, Father's Day is celebrated on the first Sunday in September, while in countries such as Italy, Portugal, and Spain, it's observed on March 19th. These differences are often based on cultural, historical, or religious reasons, and they add to the unique character of Father's Day celebrations around the world.

Embracing the Tradition

Regardless of when Father's Day is celebrated, the essence of the holiday remains the same: to show appreciation for fathers and father figures. The shifting date can be seen as a reminder that while dates may change, the love and respect we hold for our fathers is constant.

Remembering the date each year might require a quick check of the calendar, but the sentiment behind the holiday is timeless. So, as Father's Day approaches, whether it's in June or on another date specific to your country, take the opportunity to express gratitude to the fathers in your life. They surely deserve it.

Are you ready for Father's Day this year? Mark your calendars and start planning a memorable day for the special dads in your life.

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