Did you know? Why do we celebrate Father's Day? A look back at the origins of this tradition

Published by My de Sortiraparis · Photos by My de Sortiraparis · Published on June 16th, 2024 at 10:51 a.m.
Father's Day is celebrated in France this Sunday, June 16, 2024, an annual celebration that honors dads. When did Father's Day begin? Who created it? When is it celebrated and why? We tell you all about its origins and history.

Why do we celebrate Father's Day in France? Good question, isn't it? Let's delve into history to find out more about this tradition. This tradition, less popular than Mother's Day, has its origins in a Christian holiday celebrated in the Middle Ages, before being revived by a famous French lighter brand in the 1950s.

Father's Day in France dates back to the 15th century, when it was celebrated on March 19 in honor of Saint Joseph, the adoptive father of Jesus. After the French Revolution, this tradition disappeared with the separation of Church and State. However, it was in the United States in the early 20th century that the holiday was revived, before being popularized in France in the 1950s thanks to the Flaminaire brand of lighters.

The first modern Father's Day celebration took place on June 18, 1910 in Spokane, Washington. Initiated by Sonora Smart-Dodd, a young American woman wishing to honor her father, a Civil War veteran and widower who had raised his five children alone. Initially scheduled for June 5, the date of her father's death, the celebration was postponed to the third Sunday in June due to the unavailability of the pastors requested for the ceremony. This date thus became the norm.

Despite a positive reception, Father's Day was not made official in the United States until 1972 by President Richard Nixon. In France, Father's Day was revived thanks to a commercial initiative. Marcel Quercia, director of the Flaminaire lighter company, chose the third Sunday in June to promote his brand. At the time, giving a lighter, tie or shirt was considered the ideal gift for a father, symbolizing the traditional image of the pipe- or Gauloisesmoking father. This strategy boosted sales of gas lighters during a slack period.

The initiative was so successful that the event became a calendar tradition at the Oberthur printing works, and was finally officially recognized in 1952. A national committee was even set up to award the prize for"France's Most Deserving Father".

In recent years, however, there have been calls to rethink these celebrations. Some groups are calling for a Parents' Day that would include all children, including those from same-sex families or those who have lost a parent. This idea is beginning to spread in some schools, proposing a more inclusive and less discriminatory celebration.

In short, Father's Day is a tradition with multiple origins, combining religious history and business strategy, reflecting changing family customs and models. For this special day, why not offer a symbolic gift or simply spend some quality time with your father, celebrating the importance of family ties?

Fêtes des pères 2019 à ParisFêtes des pères 2019 à ParisFêtes des pères 2019 à ParisFêtes des pères 2019 à Paris What to do for Father's Day: date, ideas for outings and gifts in Paris and Ile-de-France 2024
Father's Day is this Sunday, June 16, 2024 in Paris. We've put together a lovely program of ideas for outings in Paris to please dads. With brunches, shows, exhibitions and, of course, cool gifts, here's a list to spoil the best of dads! [Read more]

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Dates and Opening Time
On June 16th, 2024

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