Father’s Day is a special holiday around the world for various reasons. It’s a day dads receive mandatory appreciation. In America, family members have been celebrating their old man the same way for decades now. In other countries, things tend to get interesting. For example, Nepal fathers get honored with their son’s feet. (Continue reading, and you’ll find out more on that.) You’ll also get a chance to see how other regions differ from the United States when celebrating their father. Some of these traditions will surprise you.
Seafood Feast In Japan
EyeOn/UIG via Getty Images
Japanese fathers must save up their appetite for seafood before Father’s Day. It is the tradition that the fathers out there receive a full seafood feast on their important day. Families host a seafood banquet for everyone to enjoy.
After they enjoy all the lobster, presents are in order. The kids create beer glasses for their fathers which come in handy when the champagne gets popped after the seafood meal. Sons and daughters more than likely become highly skilled in cooking their seafood dishes.
Celebrate With Spain!
ben radford/Corbis via Getty Images
Father’s Day in Spain walks to a religious tune. It is a Christian country, so Father’s Day has its celebration on St. Joseph’s Day which falls on March 19.
Like many other countries, the father usually has a huge dinner with the family. Father’s Day also happens during the Las Fallas festival in Valencia, Spain. A big meal with all of the family together and a festival, all for the fathers’ enjoyment.
Germany Lets Dads Be Dads
Alexandra Beier/Getty Images
Many fathers around the world should appreciate the tradition that takes place in Germany. Father’s Day in Germany has changed over the years, but it used to be the pinnacle of celebrations for dads. They would go on hikes pulling wagons full of beer and wine in the woods. Upon arriving at their destination, then they would get drunk.
As time has passed, the tradition has made some changes. Today, Father’s Day has become a pub crawl.
Races And Family In Mexico
ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images
The Mexican celebration of Father’s Day requires that fathers are in good shape. This is because not only do they get quality family time, but they must also put their speed to the test. That’s right, toss in activities and races for their day.
Before the families come together for a big meal, a 21-kilometer race takes place. The Fiesta is full of color and a good time. After running 21 kilometers, a nice dinner is just what’s needed.
The French Experience
Saikat Paul/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images
The French and American custom for Father’s Day is quite similar. In France, Father’s Day falls on the third Sunday in June. In the past, father’s received smoking accessories as gifts such as lighters.
Today, those lighters have become replaced with drawings or small paintings. The holiday’s celebration roots link back to the celebration of Saint Joseph, like they still do in Spain and other countries. Some of the smoking dads might still prefer a lighter or two.
Picnics In South Africa
Gallo Images / Sunday Times / Jackie Clausen
Dads in South Africa have a celebration that isn’t out of the ordinary. Naturally, the fathers here get a lot of praise from their children and family by receiving gifts and cards.
Families here also like to pack up a picnic and enjoy a day relaxing and eating outside. It sounds like South Africa’s Father’s Day celebration is similar to America’s in the sense that it’s all about spending quality time together and showing appreciation for dad. Just make sure you don’t forget the BBQ sauce. Next, let’s find out what’s different in Austrailia.
The Aussie Way
Fairfax Media via Getty Images
Australia only has one huge difference in the way they celebrate compared to America. The dads in Austrailia still get all the love and praise like in other countries. There are also some charity events that take place. These events include buying specific gifts to raise money for the visually impaired.
The most significant difference with Australia is that they celebrate on the first Sunday of September. This happens to be the first day of spring over there as well. Up next, see what Nepal dads do with feet.
Nepal Celebrates Uniquely
NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images
A lot is going on in Nepal for Father’s Day. The day of celebration is known as Gokarna Aunsi. It takes place at the end of summer, in late August. Like most countries, the sons and daughters give their dad gifts. Then something else happens.
The kids take place in a ceremonial “eye contest” if you will. They look directly in the eyes of their fathers and also honor fathers who passed away. Lastly, sons honor their father by letting their dad’s touch their forehead with their feet.
Ba-Ba’s Day In China
FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images
Do you know why the Chinese elect to celebrate Father’s Day on the eighth of August (8/8)? That date is roughly pronounced “ba-ba” in Mandarin, so it only made sense because that word sounds almost the same as their word for father.
For the most part, cities in China celebrate the holiday like other countries do. It is likely that dads will get showered with love and gifts. Toss in a pleasant dinner as well.
Brazil Keeps It Simple
On Father’s Day, Brazilians are honoring St. Joachim, the father of Mary, on the second Sunday of August. Dads see lots of love and get paraded around as you would expect. Their kids, no matter their age, are expected to take dad out for some food or plan a nice family day outside.
While more than 40 countries celebrate Father’s Day, Brazil is one of the countries that has celebrated the longest. They first recognized Father’s Day in the Middle Ages!
Romania Gets Its Day
DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images
Unlike Brazil, the country of Romania only recently had a Father’s Day added to their calendar. That’s right, Romania and Father’s Day met for the first time in 2010. It was the last EU nation to give dad his own day.
It happened thanks to a group called the Alliance Fighting Discrimination Against Fathers. Yes, fathers experience discrimination if you weren’t aware. Now, all the dads of Romania can feel the love like the rest of dads out there.
Keeping It Simple In The Netherlands
RVD via Getty Images
Fathers in the Netherlands earn a nice pampering on their day. A typical day includes breakfast in bed and an eloquent family dinner to end the night. It’s the simple things that matter and a father who receives his meal in bed couldn’t ask for more.
While at school, the kids typically create handcrafted gifts for their dads. Not too bad for the dad’s in the Netherlands. Now, brace yourself for the Thailand traditions.
Praise The Fathers Of Thailand
Wasawat Lukharang/NurPhoto via Getty Images
The people of Thailand have Father’s Day coincide with the birthday of their previous beloved King, Bhumibol Adulyadej, because he was the ‘father of Thailand.’ As of 2018, their father’s day is December 5th. This day is special for worshipping.
There are many traditions with Thailand’s Father’s Day. Because their king walked out of the hospital in a pink blazer in 2007, it is tradition to wear pink. Kids also give dads and grandfathers a Canna flower as it relates to masculinity.
Defender Of The Fatherland Day, Russia
Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images
There isn’t a Father’s Day in Russia, but they have something that substitutes perfectly for it. In Russia, there is the Defender of the Fatherland Day. This day came about originally to honor the Red Army during the Russian Civil War.
Russians now celebrate the day on February 23rd. Defender of the Fatherland Day commemorates those in the military and men in general. Not only do the dads get presents from their loved ones, but co-workers also give gifts as well.
A Special Portuguese Celebration
Xavier TESTELIN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Portugal and a few other regions share similar Father’s Day antics. Since Portugal is a predominantly Catholic country, their day falls in line with the Feast of St. Joseph. The Feast takes place on March 19th, so that brings up a tiny problem.
March 19th is in the middle of Lent! That means dads can’t eat meat on their day. A true blessing and curse scenario. You have to be thankful for the day, but a bit upset about the food options.
India Makes Its Way
Kalpak Pathak/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
India is another place on this list that is relatively new to the Father’s Day celebration. Upon increasing Western influence on the country, advertising from greeting cards and other holiday focused enterprises have helped boost the popularity out there.
Much like America, it is a day to celebrate fathers. Nothing out of the ordinary like having feet placed on your head. Although, those who celebrate are usually from urban areas. Picnics are a popular way to celebrate.
Donkey Races In Italy
Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto via Getty Images
What goes on in Spain and Portugal for Father’s Day pretty much takes place in Italy as well. With a few exceptions, Italy has its way of spicing things up. Father’s Day in Italy happens on St. Joseph’s Day which is March 19th.
The festivities range from street parades to bonfires with friends and family. They also have feasts of frittelle and zeppole. You might find donkey races in some towns. The donkey races symbolize Joseph leading Mary to Bethlehem.
The Finland Way
Alessandro Rampazzo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Ever since 1950, fathers in Finland have celebrated their day on the second Sunday of November. Father’s Day holds a little more prestige in Finland than in America. It’s a real flag-raising holiday there.
Families participate in whatever dad’s favorite thing to do is and offer him plenty of homemade presents and cards. They love to hunt in Finland, so an ideal gift would be new hunting gear or a trip with dad.
Nothing Out Of The Ordinary In America
Celebrating Father’s Day in America is like having another birthday if you’re a dad. Your loved ones give you all types of gifts and shower you with love. Americans make the effort to get the entire family together for father’s day and show dad how much he means to all of them.
After some good food and presents, relaxing is probably something they appreciate the most. All some dads want is that cute card or gift they made for them while at school.
Here’s What to do For Dad in the UK
Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images
In the U.K. fathers get their fair share of gifts and acknowledgment on the third Sunday of June. The Evening Standard suggests, “Maybe a shave at the top of the Shard is his kind of thing, or perhaps a spot of jousting — or just some good old-fashioned drinking.”
We think dad would be up for all of these things, but perhaps in opposite order. Who doesn’t love a good jousting after two or three beers?