When is Father's Day?

When is Father's Day?

The question that many people ask is, 'When is Father’s Day?' It’s a good question too, seeing that Father’s Day is celebrated across most months by different countries. Add to this, the date shifts slightly each year and you can see the confusion!

The United Kingdom celebrates Father’s Day in June like a lot of countries, such as Canada, the United States, Greece and so on. However, Australia and New Zealand celebrate in September and Thailand celebrates in December. So the real question is, why do we celebrate Father’s Day and where did all the different dates originate from?


Jump straight to a particular section:

When is Father’s Day in the UK and USA? | Why do we celebrate Father’s Day? | Why different dates? | Ways It’s Celebrated Around the World | Wish a ‘Happy Father’s Day’ in 20 Different Languages | Father’s Day Global Dates for 2021



When is Father’s Day in the UK and USA?


See our beautiful range of Father's Day cards  like this Aston Martin Card by Cardology

In the United Kingdom Father’s Day is annually celebrated on the third Sunday in June, which is the same day as the United States .



Sunday, 20th of June


Although different people over time expressed the notion of honouring fathers, it was Sonara Smart Dodd that was acknowledged as the creator of Father’s Day as she was the catalyst for Father’s Day becoming a national holiday in the United States. Sonara chose June 5th for Father’s Day as that was her father’s birthday, however pastors needed more time to make their sermons on this new topic so it was postponed until the third Sunday in June, which then became the yearly occasion.

It is believed that the UK follows US tradition and many other places observe it too. On the other hand, on March 19th is St. Joseph’s Day and this is when some countries, particularly in Latin America and Europe, celebrate their fathers.

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Why do we celebrate Father’s Day?

The notion of Father’s Day can be dated back to Europe in medieval times where Catholics celebrated St. Joseph’s Day. Joseph was shown to be the perfect model of a father as he helped raise Jesus as his own child and other fathers were meant to follow his example.  

The idea of celebrating and honouring your father dates back for centuries in Europe and even all the way back to ancient Babylon 4000 years ago. Archaeologists found an ancient Babylonian tablet, signed from a son named Elmesu, with wishes for health and a long life to his father carved into it and this Father’s Day message is the earliest to be found.

Since then, the modern version of Father’s Day is likely to have come from the United States over a hundred years ago.

Throughout the US there were quite a few people who raised the idea of Father’s Day, which led to different people claiming themselves as the creator of Father’s Day in the US. However, the official founder of Father’s Day is Sonara Dodd, who was one of six children raised by her widowed, Civil War Veteran father. She wanted to create a celebration like Mother’s Day to honour fathers as well and she achieved the first Father’s Day celebration citywide in Spokane, Washington in 1910.

Father’s Day only became a national holiday many decades later in 1972 when President Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day an official holiday on the third Sunday of June.

Father’s Day in the United Kingdom is not a public holiday but the UK and many other countries followed the American tradition.

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Why different dates?

The date for Father’s Day is most commonly on the third Sunday in June, which was a tradition that originated from the US. However, globally this day falls on different dates due to many reasons, such as religion, traditions, seasons and so on.

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Ways It’s Celebrated Around the World

All around the world countries celebrate Father’s Day in various ways and at different times. Here is an example of 17 countries’ traditions and celebrations:


Italy, Portugal, Spain

Each year these countries observe Father’s Day on March 19th in honour of Joseph of Nazareth, father of Jesus, as this day is the Feast of St. Joseph. This day involves cards, presents and going to church.



Mexico observes Father’s Day on the third Sunday of June and is celebrated through presents, food and activities. In Mexico City’s Bosque de Tlalpan the ‘Carrera Día del Padre’ (Father’s Day race) 21K race takes place annually. There are different races to partake in and a very popular one is the Father/Son race.



In Brazil they pay tribute to St. Joachim by observing Father’s Day on the second Sunday in August. They honour St. Joachim as he is the father of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and is seen as the guardian of fathers and grandfathers. The day is celebrated through fathers/father figures being shown appreciation through presents and cards/letters full of gratitude.



Russia’s Father’s Day has evolved over time as it started as a military tribute, which was then a holiday that celebrated men. This transformed into Russia’s Father’s Day, however it is still known as Defender of the Fatherland Day due to its military origins. Every year, on February 23rd, Russia holds a parade to commemorate the Russian Armed Forces and even though it is ‘men’s day’, women who were involved in the military are also honoured. It is common for the women to give gifts to their male relatives, partners and co-workers, whether the men served in the military or not.



Germany celebrates Father’s Day on Ascension Day, which is the 40th day after Easter Sunday and marks Jesus’ ascension into heaven. They celebrate outdoors through hiking and drinking alcohol, which tends to be part of a four day weekend!


Norway, Sweden, Iceland

These countries originally celebrated Father’s Day in June but now celebrate it on the second Sunday in November. This is because they used to follow suit with the American Father’s Day but it was moved to November to boost the economy during a usually slower month and partially to be half a year after Mother’s Day. Father’s Day is celebrated through gifts and time with family.



In India if they choose to observe Father’s Day they do so on the same day and in a similar way to the US; they give presents, cards, go to restaurants and spend time with their fathers.



Thailand always celebrates Father’s Day on December 5th as this was the birthday of the previous King, Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was widely respected. The current King will give a speech and it is tradition for fathers and grandfathers to be given canna flowers, which symbolise masculinity.


Australia and New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand celebrate Father’s Day on the first Sunday of September which is their first Sunday of Spring. This date was chosen for convenience because the months most countries observe/celebrate Father’s Day were full of occasions and holidays already. They chose a suitable time in their calendar which also happens to line up with the start of spring and the day consists of cards and gifts.


United Kingdom, United States and Canada

The UK celebrates Mother’s Day on a different day to the US and Canada, yet they all share the same day for Father’s Day, the third Sunday of June. They also share the same celebration, which tends to be through gifts and cards.

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Wish a ‘Happy Father’s Day’ in 20 Different Languages

Want to impress your friends, or win that pub quiz? Here's how to say Happy Father's Day in twenty different languages.
  • Arabic: عيد أبٍ سعيداً! (I wish you a Happy Father’s Day)
  • Brazilian: Portuguese: Feliz dia dos pais!
  • Chinese: 祝你父亲节快乐!(zhù nǐ fù qīn jié kuài lè) (I wish you  Happy Father’s Day)
  • Dutch: Vrolijke vaderdag
  • English: Happy Father’s Day!
  • Estonian: õnnelik Isadepäev
  • Finnish: Hyvää isänpäivää
  • French: Bonne fête des pères!
  • German: Alles Gute zum Vatertag!
  • Greek: Χαρούμενη ημέρα του πατέρα (I wish you a Happy Father’s Day)
  • Indonesian: Selamat hari ayah
  • Irish: Lá na nAthaireacha faoi shona daoibh
  • Italian: Buona festa del papà!
  • Korean: 어버이 날을 축하합니다 (Happy Parent’s Day - South Korea
  • Polish: Wszystkiego najlepszego z okazji Dnia Ojca (I wish you a Happy Father’s Day)
  • Russian: С днём отца! (I wish you a Happy Father’s Day)
  • Spanish: Feliz día del padre
  • Swedish: Trevlig farsdag
  • Turkish: Babalar gününüz kutlu olsuncelebrates Parent’s Day and there is no separate mothers' or father’s day)
  • Welsh: Sul y tadau hapus


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Father’s Day Global Dates for 2021

We found this great resource on Fleurop which details all of the dates Father’s Day is celebrated around the globe.



23rd February 2021

Belarus, Russia

18th March 2021


19th March 2021

Andorra, Angola, Belgium (Antwerp Province only), Bolivia, Croatia, Honduras, Italy, Liechtenstein, Mozambique, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland (Ticino only)

7th May 2021


8th May 2021

South Korea (Parents' Day)

10th May 2021 (second Sunday in May)


16th May 2021 (third Sunday in May)


21st May 2021


5th June 2021


6th June 2021 (first Sunday in June)

Lithuania, Switzerland (German and French-speaking Switzerland)

13th June 2021 (second Sunday in June)

Austria, Belgium (excluding the Province of Antwerp), Colombia

16th June 2021


17th June 2021

El Salvador, Guatemala

20th June 2021 (third Sunday in June)

Afghanistan, Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dominica, Ecuador, Ethiopia, France, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guernsey, Guyana, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jersey, Kenya, Kuwait, Laos, Macao, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe

21st June 2021

Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, United Arab Emirates

23rd June 2021

Nicaragua, Poland

27th June 2021 (final Sunday in June)


11th July (second Sunday in July)


25th July (final Sunday in July)

Dominican Republic

8th August 2021


8th August 2021 (second Sunday in August)

Brazil, Samoa

30th August 2021 (final Monday in August)

Southern Sudan

5th September 2021 (first Sunday in September)

Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea

12th September 2021 (second Sunday in September


3rd October 2021 (first Sunday in October)


12th November 2021


14th November 2021 (second Sunday in November)

Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden

5th December 2021


26th December 2021



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