Father's Day is a fairly new celebration in the
British calendar compared with Mother's Day, which has been a very popular and
well celebrated festival in the UK for a very long time.
The origins of the celebration are American and it was
inspired by the actions of a man named William Smart. He was a
veteran of the US Civil War and his wife died giving birth to
their sixth child. He raised six children alone without
remarrying, which was undoubtedly unusual back in those days.
His daughter, Sonora Dodd, realised when she was an adult
what her father had sacrificed for his children. It was in the early
1900s and she was actually at church one day, listening to a sermon on
Mother's Day. She thought there should also be a Father's Day celebration.
And so the tradition was born, on the third
Sunday every June, close to the anniversary of Sonora's father's death. Britain
took the idea of Father's Day from the American celebration and it has been
celebrated officially since the 1970s.
Father's Day is never quite such the big commercial
event that Mother's Day is, probably because it hasn't been in existence
for so long. But what do British people do for Father's Day?
Well, most people would buy their fathers a card. The card
would probably have a nice message in it saying what a great Dad their father
is. Some people do buy presents as well.
Popular gifts for Dads are probably ties, chocolates or socks
because these are things that Dads can always use even if they don't want them.
In the run-up to Father's Day, or indeed Mother's Day, there will be
adverts on the TV giving us ideas of CDs or gadgets we can buy.
Card shops will be full of mugs or pens and similar merchandise
with 'World's Greatest Dad' written on them.
Some families might do things together to celebrate Father's
Day like going for a meal. As a special treat, British people might give
their Dad a bit of a rest – make him a cup of tea, or even wash his car and
mow the lawn to make him feel really appreciated.