Once again, that annual occasion – Father's Day, falling on August 8th, also recognized as Double Eight Father's Day, is upon us. It's safe to say that in Taiwan, people are undoubtedly commemorating Father's Day uniquely and especially. Whether it involves giving gifts, relishing a delightful lunch or dinner, or even presenting an exquisitely crafted cake, these gestures collectively serve as heartfelt expressions of gratitude for the enduring dedication and companionship throughout the year.
Around the world, Father's Day is observed on different dates on roughly 23 occasions in close to a hundred other countries and regions. These commemorations have various historical roots and distinctive meanings and frequently come with fascinating anecdotes that grab our interest. Let's go on an adventure to discover them together.
While carnations are often associated with Mother's Day, the rose is the flower associated with Father's Day. Sonora Smart Dodd chose the rose as an emblem of appreciation and gratitude for fathers when she started Father's Day in 1910. The third Sunday in June was not formally declared Father's Day in the United States until 1972, under President Richard Nixon's administration. The choice of flower tributes differs naturally due to regional cultural differences. Dendrobium orchids are traded in areas like Hong Kong to represent values like courage and love. This perfectly aligns with the concept of fathers who fiercely protect their children while lovingly nurturing them.
In Japan, the gesture of gift-giving centers around yellow roses and vibrant sunflowers, effectively establishing "yellow" as the representative hue of Father's Day. The silent love embodied by sunflowers resonates with the radiance of a father's love that illuminates our hearts.
Shifting our focus to the global stage, numerous countries – 76 to be precise – including the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Singapore, China, and India, observe Father's Day on the third Sunday of June, much like the United States.
In countries deeply rooted in the Catholic tradition, such as Italy and Spain, Father's Day coincides with the Feast of Saint Joseph on March 19th, celebrating the role of Joseph, a carpenter, in the life of Jesus. Italy even designates this occasion as Carpenter's Day.
Germany offers a unique twist, with Father's Day not confined to a fixed date. Instead, it typically falls on the 40th day after Easter, which corresponds to Ascension Day. This day is playfully referred to as "Men's Day," characterized by parades, distinctive attire, and jovial indulgence in food and drink – a time for fathers to unwind and enjoy.
In Brazil, the second Sunday of August marks Father's Day, an event families gather together for a barbecue, symbolizing appreciation for their nurturing care.
Turning our attention to Thailand, Father's Day is celebrated on December 5th, a tribute to the Thai king who is embraced as a paternal figure by the citizens. People adorn themselves in yellow, Thailand's official color, and gift Canna Lilies, symbolic of resilience and strength akin to a father's enduring love.
An intriguing celebration unfolds in Korea on May 8th, where both fathers and mothers are honored on Parents' Day for their nurturing roles in family life.
Finally, we come to Taiwan, where the essence of Father's Day is intricately linked to the term "爸爸" (bàba), phonetically resembling the number "88" in Chinese. The visual arrangement of the characters "八八" (bā bā) strikingly resembles the character "父" (fù), signifying "father." This linguistic and visual connection conveys a profound message. Unveiling a touching tale from Taiwan's history, we journey back to August 8th, 1945, a time during the Anti-Japanese War, when patriotic individuals in Shanghai initiated the inaugural Father's Day. This heartfelt endeavor aimed to honor the valiant fathers who laid down their lives to safeguard their homeland.
As we embrace this unique day, let us extend our heartfelt wishes and gratitude to fathers around the world, enveloped in the warmth and emotions that family brings. Irrespective of geographical boundaries, Father's Day stands as a significant juncture, beckoning us to unite in celebration and appreciation for the cherished fatherly figures who shape our lives.