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Top 10 Fun Facts About Father's Day

Do you appreciate your dad? Dazzle him with some fun fascinating Father's Day facts!

Beano Facts Team
Last Updated:  February 9th 2023

Father's Day is always celebrated on the third Sunday of June, and it's a great way to show appreciation for your dad - or your grandpa, or any man who looks after you! There's a lot you may not know about the day, though - do you know what day it happens in Thailand, or what the msot popular gift for dads is? Fin d out here! Then why not test yourself with a Father's Day quiz, or laugh your head off at some Father's Day jokes, or find out just how daft your dad is!

1. It has roots in a Saint's Day

St. Joseph's Day isn't quite the same thing as modern Father's Day, but it has some similarities! St. Joseph was Mary's husband and the stepfather of Jesus Christ, and on his feast day (March 19th) some European Christians celebrated fatherhood in general.

2. It was founded by a woman

Modern Father's Day is an American tradition, and it was proposed by a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd. She was the daughter of an American civil war veteran who was also a single father (Sonora's mother died in childbirth). She thought that fathers deserved the same recognition as mothers, and approached the church to help her establish it. She wanted the day to be on her father's birthday, June 5th, but the third Sunday in June was chosen instead. The first Father's Day was celebrated on June 19th, 1910.

3. People thought it was a silly idea

At first some people thought the idea of Father's Day was ridiculous, saying we might as well have a "National Clean Out Your Desk Day"! But over time people came to appreciate it more, because it's good to show appreciation for your dad! Incidentally there IS a National Clean Out Your Desk Day - it's on January 9th!

4. It had presidential approval!

US President Calvin Coolidge promoted Father's day in 1924, but it wasn't until 1966 that an official proclamation was signed (by then-president Lyndon B. Johnson) declaring the third Sunday in June to be officially Father's Day. Then in 1972 a THIRD president, Richard Nixon, made it an official holiday!

5. The most popular gifts are exactly what you'd expect

The three most popular gifts given on Father's Day are: a tie, a meal, and electronic gadgets. Other popular gifts include slippers, books, and nice gloves (though that last one is falling out of fashion a bit)

6. It used to be on a different day in China

Dates for Father's Day change all over the world, and in China it used to be on August 8th. This is because the Chinese word for eight is "ba", so the 8th day of the 8th month is "ba-ba", which sounds similar to the word for "father"!

7. It's still a different day in Thailand!

In Thailand Father's Day falls on December 5th, which is the birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who ruled from 1946 to 2016. It's traditional in Thailand for people to give a canna lily to their fathers and grandfathers, as this flower respresents masculinity (though this is a bet less common nowadays). It's also traditional to wear yellow in honour of the late king, and to gather for an evening ceremony and watch the king give a speech!

8. Flowers can be given as gifts!

Flowers often have a more feminine association and are a definite staple of Mother's Day - but, as the Thais know, flowers can be a manly gift too! In the US and the UK white or red roses are the official flowers of Father's Day. In the past a red rose signified a living father, while a white rose signified a dead one. Little bit grim!

9. It's BIG for card companies

According to cardselling giant Hallmark, the most popular holidays for buying cards are Christmas, Valentine's Day and Mother's Day - but Father's Day is only just behind them!

10. Not just kids buy the cards!

Unsurprisingly most cards are bought by children for their fathers and grandfathers - but according to Hallmark around 20% are bought by partners for their spouses! Another up and coming market is cards "from" pets, thanking their "dads" for being there!