Out of ideas for how you’ll celebrate Father’s Day this year? We don’t blame you, there are only so many pairs of socks and jocks one dad can take. Perhaps your child is more the creative hands-on type and insists on making the same crooked coffee mug year on year. Well, you can relax!
We’ve travelled the globe and pulled out five countries with a twist on Father’s Day traditions. If you’re looking for some inspiration for your family, whip out your passport and let’s go for a trip.
Known locally as “Chichi no hi”, Japanese families tend to celebrate Father’s Day with gift giving. Popular gifts might be alcohol (sake), gourmet foods (like Wagyu), unagi (eel), and sweets. As if anyone needed an excuse to drink more sake (obviously, this one’s on mum to figure out). Children could try making origami, like the popular shirt and tie combo – it’s inexpensive and extra sweet as it’s handmade.
Known locally as Vatertag, Father’s Day in Germany is celebrated a bit differently to us in Australia, with origins reaching back centuries. Where Australian’s like to give dad a card and gift and give him the day off to relax, in Germany, the day is a celebration for all men, whether fathers or not.
There’s a bit more of a party vibe; the women and children stay home while the men get together for drinks and frivolity. If you’d like to celebrate with a German flavour, perhaps making or gifting dad a beer stein, or beer and ball games at the park will be flavour enough.
Similar to Australia, South African children celebrate Father’s Day by giving cards and gifts to their father, perhaps also attempting to pamper him on his official day off. There’s a strong family flavour in celebrations here, with fishing and picnicking popular ways to spend the day together.
Children make cards and little gifts for their dads at school or day care and some schools organise events with coffee and cake the Friday before. Sleep-ins and breakfast in bed is also on the itinerary! In addition to the handmade gifts, Finnish dads might also find themselves unwrapping the token socks, boxers, or books.
Russia’s modern-day Father’s Day started out as a military commemoration, with parades honouring soldiers (AKA Defender of the Fatherland Day). Like Germany, Russia’s day is a celebration for all men, including the childless, so it’s common for women to also pay tribute to the men in their lives by giving small gifts (even colleagues).
Wherever you are in the world, Father’s Day is about honouring the dads and father figures and the role they play in their family and society.
We hope this list has saved you from another year hitting ‘repeat’ and has inspired you to introduce your own new family tradition.