When is Father’s Day 2020? Date we celebrate our dads in the UK, history of the occasion and when it’s marked in other countries

Father’s Day could be different than usual this year, with varying lockdown restrictions still in place throughout the UK

While we can still buy our dads cards and presents, your usual Father’s Day plans may differ slightly from usual, as restaurants and pubs are still closed.

Here’s what you need to know about why we observe Father’s Day, UK traditions and when it takes place in 2020.

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This year Father’s Day could be a little different if lockdown continues to the end of June (Photo: Shutterstock)
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When is Father’s Day in the UK in 2020?

Father's Day in the UK will take place on Sunday, 21 June 2020.

The occasion always lands on the third Sunday of June.

Our celebration is based on the US date, however, other countries around the world celebrate Father’s Day at different times throughout the year.

Why do we celebrate Father’s Day?

The first observance of Father’s Day in America was believed to be held on 5 July 1908 by Gracy Clayton in West Virginia, which was also the place where Mother’s Day was first observed by Anna Jarvis.

Grace was mourning the loss of her father after he died in a mining accident and suggested that her pastor honour all the fathers that died in the accident.

Two years laters, on 19 June 1910, a more widespread Father's Day commemoration took place across churches in Spokane, Washington.

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This was organised by Sonora Dodd, daughter of American civil war veteran William Jackson Smart, who helped raise her younger siblings in Spokane after her mother died in childbirth.

Dodd had become inspired to organise the commemoration after attending a Mother's Day service the year before.

Although it was originally due to take place on 5 June, the date of her father's birthday, it was delayed until the third Sunday of the month to give local pastors a chance to prepare their sermons.

During the 1920s, enthusiasm around the event lacked and it began to fade, but then during the 1930 Dodd began further promoting the celebration and raised awareness at a national level.

She gained help from trade groups she knew would benefit from the holiday, such as manufacturers of ties and tobacco pipes.

Although the celebration did gain some presidential interest, early attempts to get the holiday formally recognised were resisted.

However, Lyndon Johnson officially assigned the date of Father’s Day in 1966, and six years later, Richard Nixon signed it into law as a national holiday.

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However, in the US Father’s Day is not a federal holiday, which means all stores and businesses open as usual.

In the UK, it is not recognised as a public holiday.

When do other countries around the world celebrate Father’s Day?

Some Father’s Day celebrations date back to the Catholic Europe of the Middle Ages.

This religious observance is held on 19 March in Italy and Spain, and is known as the Feast of St Joseph - the legal father of Jesus Christ.

Germany marks Father's Day on Ascension Day in May or June, 40 days after Easter.

In Thailand, Father’s Day is celebrated on 5 December. This is the birthday of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who is considered to be the Father of the Nation.

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In South America, Brazil celebrates Father’s Day on the second Sunday of August, which is in honour of Saint Joachim, who is the patron saint of fathers.

Russia has continued a tradition from the Soviet Union of celebrating ‘Man's Day’ on Defender of the Fatherland Day which falls on 23 February, and marks the first mass draft into the Red Army.

Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea celebrate Father’s Day on the first Sunday in September.

Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Estonia celebrate Father’s Day on the second Sunday in November.

Elsewhere, several countries in the Middle East mark Father's Day on 21 June, which coincides with the date of the summer solstice.