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History Of Gift Giving- Father's Day

May 8, 2008
Father's Day is the one time a year that our attention is focused on our fathers. It is usually celebrated by giving the father of the family gifts and planning a day of family-oriented activities.

The Roman Catholic Church celebrated Father's Day on Saint Joseph's Day, which is March 19th. Because this day falls during Lent, the Church could not celebrate it as a feast day. Many people felt that a secular holiday to celebrate fathers was needed.

The first modern Father's Day celebration was held on July 15, 1908 in Fairmont, West Virginia. This first celebration may have been inspired by a tragedy. In December, 1907, a mine explosion in nearby Monongah killed 361 men, most of whom were fathers. Then, on May 10, 1908, the first Mother's Day celebration was held in nearby Grafton, West Virginia. A woman by the name of Grace Golden Clayton suggested top her local pastor that their church should commemorate these fallen fathers with a celebration much like the one that had been dedicated to mothers.

Another advocate of Father's Day was Sonora Smart Dodd who was one of six children raised by a single father, Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart in Spokane, Washington. The first of these celebrations was held on June 19, 1908 (which also happened to be the third Sunday in June). Although supported by President Woodrow Wilson and Calvin Coolidge, Father's Day was not recognized as a holiday until 1966, when President Lyndon B. Johnson picked the third Sunday of June as the date for this celebration. It was 1972 when President Richard Nixon finally made it an official holiday.

In the United States, Father's Day is usually celebrated with a barbeque and other outdoor activities. Most people give their father gifts or gift baskets based on a subject that he likes such a golf or baseball. In other countries, the celebrations vary as well as the method in which these countries pick the date for Father's Day.

In Germany, Father's Day is celebrated on Ascension Day, which if the Thursday that falls forty days after Easter. The celebration consists of small wagons that are pulled by manpower and pulled to the location that has been chosen for the activities. These wagons are loaded with wine, beer, and traditional German food, such as liverwurst and blood sausage. After making a toast to the fathers who are present, the party then begins, running into the wee hours of the morning or even sometimes until the next day.

In Taiwan, Father's Day is not an official holiday but is usually observed on August 8th, which is the eighth day of the eighth month. In Mandarin Chinese (the language of Taiwan) the spoken word for the number "eight" is very similar to the word for "father," both being slightly different pronunciations of the word ba. Thus, August 8th is usually known as Baba Day.

In Thailand, the celebration of Father's Day is based upon the birthday of the current king. Today, the king is Bhumibol Adulyadej, also known as Rama IX. He has been king since June 9, 1946, which makes him the longest ruling monarch in Thai history. Since his birthday is December 5th, this has been the date for Father's Day in Thailand for over sixty years. When the king passes away, it will be strange to most of his people to celebrate this holiday on another date as most of them have never observed it at any other time. There is speculation that December 5th may become the permanent date for Father's Day in Thailand in the future.
About the Author
We have baby gift baskets that are cute and practical. Perfect for the newborn and new moms. For more information, visit this article on baby gift baskets.
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