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Tuesday, 11 June 2019

(CURRENT AFFAIR) 16 June celebrating as Father's Day

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HISTORY OF FATHER'S DAY

History of Father's Day Festival as seen today is not even a hundred years old. Thanks to the hard work and struggle of Ms Sonora Louise Smart Dodd of Washington that just as we have set aside Mother's Day to honor mothers we have a day to acknowledge the important role played by the father. However, some scholars opine that Father's Day history is much older than we actually believe it to be. They say that the custom of honoring dad's on a special day is over 4,000 years old. There are a few more claims about the Father's Day origin about which we will learn in this page.



Earliest History of Father's Day

Scholars believe that the origin of Father's Day is not a latest phenomenon, as many believe it to be. Rather they claim that the tradition of Father's Day can be traced in the ruins of Babylon. They have recorded that a young boy called Elmesu carved a Father's Day message on a card made out of clay nearly 4,000 years ago. Elmesu wished his Babylonian father good health and a long life. Though there is no record of what happened to Elmesu and his father but the tradition of celebrating Father's Day remained in several countries all over the world.


FATHER'S DAY IN INDIA

The concept of celebrating Father's Day is very new in India. The idea of celebrating Fathers Day has been imported from western countries mainly US, perhaps less than a decade ago.
However, it is remarkable to note that the idea of observing a day in honor of fathers has been appreciated by Indians to a large extent. Today, millions of people in India observe Father's Day on the third Sunday of June by expressing gratitude for their father or men who are like father.

Father's Day Celebration in India

Father's Day in India
Father's Day celebration in India takes place in the same way as in UK or US though in a limited way. Awareness about Fathers Day festival is much greater in metropolitan cities and bigger towns due to the greater exposure of people to the western cultures in such places. But thanks to the rigorous advertising campaign launched by card companies and gift sellers the idea of celebrating Father's  day is fast catching on with people in smaller towns and cities of India.
Just as in UK and US people in India too, celebrate Father's Day by expressing gratitude and love for Papa. Children gift cards, flowers and other gifts of love to their dad to show their affection. Dining in restaurants or going out for picnic or movie is another common way of celebrating Fathers Day in India.
Several schools and cultural societies in India organize cultural programs on Father's Day. The idea behind such programmes is to inspire children to pay due respect to their dad and take care of them. Fathers are also encouraged to spend quality time with their children and instill in them noble values and manners.


History of Father's Day in US

Modern version of Father's Day celebration originated in United States of America and thereafter the tradition spread in countries around the world. The world owes thanks to Ms Sonora Louise Smart Dodd a loving daughter from Spokane, Washington as it is because of her struggle that Father's Day saw the light of the day.

The idea of Father's Day celebration originated in Sonora's mind when she per chance listened to Mother's Day sermon in 1909. Fairly mature at the age 27, Sonora pondered if there is a day to honor mother then why not for father? Sonora felt strongly for fathers because of the affection she received from her own father Mr William Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran. Sonora's mother died while childbirth when she was just 16. Mr Smart raised the newborn and five other children with love and care.
Inspired by Ms Anna Jarvis's struggle to promote Mother's Day, Ms Dodd began a rigorous campaign to celebrate Father's Day in US. The Spokane Ministerial Association and the local Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) supported Sonora's cause. As a result Spokane celebrated its first Father's Day on June 19, 1910. Though there was initial hesitation the idea gained gradual popularity all over US and Fathers Day came to be celebrated in cities across the country.

Looking at the heightened popularity of Father's Day in US, President Woodrow Wilson approved of this idea in 1916. President Calvin Coolidge too supported the idea of a national Father's Day in 1924 to, "establish more intimate relations between fathers and their children and to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations". After a protracted struggle of over four decades, President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father's Day in 1966. Then in 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father's Day to be held on the third Sunday of June. Sonora Smart Dodd was honored for her contribution at the World's Fair in Spokane in 1974. Mrs. Dodd died in 1978 at age 96.

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