Where is Gonzalez from

Where does the Father's Day custom actually come from?

Halle (Saale) - The roots of the Father's Day tradition are in the Middle Ages, but the custom has not been around that long. As such, Father's Day was coined in the United States in 1909, as reported by National Geographic.

Father's Day - custom from the USA

That year Sonora Louise Smart Dodd from Spokane filed an application for the establishment of Father's Day. Since Mother's Day had also been naturalized shortly before, this idea caught on immediately and was celebrated locally from 1910 onwards.

Six years later, the then US President Woodrow Wilson is said to have traveled to Spokane to celebrate Father's Day. In 1926, the National Father’s Day Committee in New York established Father’s Day as a national holiday.

The custom was also adopted in Germany and falls on the religious holiday of Ascension Day. Why it falls exactly on this day could be explained by the fact that Father's Day was established as a counter-program to Ascension Day: Instead of the religious festival for the “Father in Heaven” there was a less pious one for the “Father on earth”, such as National Georgraphic reports.

Father's Day Custom: Roots in the Middle Ages

Alois Döring, cultural scientist and historical author believes that the custom can be traced back to the corridor processions on Ascension Day in the Middle Ages. The corridor was a staked piece of land belonging to a particular landowner. On the basis of corridor processions and corridor rallies, land and harvest were blessed, as well as adjacent properties from other communities were legally redefined.

However, the custom has changed in the course of history and the pious spirit has gradually been lost. The harvest was now doused with beer and schnapps instead of being blessed with prayers. The tradition of walking among men on Ascension Day then developed in the late 19th century. "With the onset of industrialization, the structure of society changed," says Gunther Hirschfelder, Professor of Comparative Cultural Studies at the University of Regensburg to National Geographic.

Young families and single men increasingly moved from the countryside to the city to work in factories. “The political and moral sphere of influence of the church on the 'singles' and employees of the time became smaller, Christian holidays were celebrated less often in a church context.” What counted was that you didn't have to work. "In the working class, free time was playing an increasingly important role: free time with friends became a right that was fought for," said Hirschfelder.

Father's Day - where did the idea for the handcart come from?

This also gave rise to the tradition of the men's game, in which the men took a trip to the countryside, played skat, bowled and visited inns. The tradition was founded on the corridor processions and continued on Ascension Day. While some got drunk, others saw an opportunity for good business and organized excursions in decorated horse-drawn carriages into the country.

The idea with the handcart probably continued from this. The tradition of going around with a cart among men on Father's Day and drinking alcohol has its roots in the Middle Ages, but the custom of calling it Father's Day came from the USA.

By the way: Father's Day is celebrated all over the world, but differently everywhere and on different days. In France, the Netherlands and Turkey, for example, on the third Sunday in June, the father receives breakfast in bed, read a poem or presents, just as we know it from Mother's Day. (mz)