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Father’s Day 2020 is fast approaching. While the day might be a little different this year, there are still ways for children to spoil their dad rotten when the day arrives!
From the history behind the celebration, to, how to celebrate at home, here is everything you need to know about Father’s Day 2020, plus some fun things to do with kids (opens in new tab) on the big day.
When is Father’s Day 2020 in the UK?
Father’s Day (opens in new tab) is held every year on the third Sunday of June; this year Father’s Day falls on Sunday 21 June in the UK.
This year, this coincides with the Summer Solstice - the longest day of the year - meaning this time, you can really make the most of the day.
When did we start celebrating Father’s Day?
Mother’s Day (opens in new tab) came first (it was celebrated as far back as the 1860s and declared a national holiday in 1914) and paved the way for Father’s Day.
Though Father’s Day wasn’t made a national holiday until 1972, the efforts of one woman in Washington sparked a movement to celebrate dads long before then.
On 5 July 1908, a church in West Virginia held a sermon in honour of fathers, a Sunday sermon in memory of 362 men who had died in the previous December’s explosions at the Fairmont Coal Company mines in Monongah, but it was an isolated event and not an annual holiday.
The next year, a Washington woman named Sonora Smart Dodd, one of six children, tried to establish an official equivalent to Mother’s Day for male parents. She wanted to honour her father, William Jackson Smart, who raised Sonora and her five siblings alone after his wife died in childbirth when Sonora was 16.
To gain momentum, she visited local churches, the YMCA, shopkeepers and government officials to drum up support for her idea, and her diligence paid off. Washington State celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on June 19, 1910
Despite her triumph, it took years and the intervention of several US presidents to establish Father’s Day as a national holiday. Over the years, the celebration of Father’s Day spread, and after a long fight it was finally declared a national holiday in 1972 by President Richard Nixon.
Why is Father’s Day on a different date around the world?
Today, Father’s Day is celebrated on different days in different countries. Most countries follow suit and celebrate Father’s Day on the third Sunday in June including here in the UK, USA, Mexico, Ireland, France, Greece, China and Japan.
But celebrations of fatherhood date back to the Catholic Europe of the Middle Ages. This religious observance is held on 19 March, the Feast of St Joseph – the legal father of Jesus Christ – with this date still marked by Catholic countries such as Spain and Italy.
Germany marks Father’s Day on Ascension Day in May or June, 40 days after Easter, while Australia and New Zealand commemorate it on the first Sunday in September.
Several countries in the Middle East mark Father’s Day on 21 June, coinciding with the summer solstice.
While in Thailand, Father’s Day is celebrated on 5 December – the birthday of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who is considered the Father of the Nation.
Ideas to celebrate Father's Day 2020 at home
Typically, dads are showered with cards, presents and cuddles on Father’s Day, with some families celebrating together by going on days out. But this year is a little different.
While large gatherings and celebrations in dad’s favourite pub may not be possible this Father’s Day, you can still mark the day in other ways.
1) Make breakfast in bed
Making breakfast in bed (opens in new tab) is the perfect way to show Dad just how much they mean to you. Start Father’s Day off with a bang by treating him to his favourite breaskfast meal, no matter how indulgent. From yummy pancakes to poached eggs on toast, get the kids together and cook up a storm. Or, if he has a sweet tooth, why not cook this no-bake showstopper Father's Day (opens in new tab) cake instead?
2) Have a picnic in the garden
We’ve had some incredible weather so far this year, and it’s set to continue. Pile Dad’s favourite foods into a basket, grab a blanket, and head out to the nearest patch of grass for an alfresco affair.
The latest Government guidelines say that a group of 6 can get together in the garden so why not invite grandparents over and enjoy a (socially-distanced) picnic (opens in new tab).
3) Play some party games
Kids party game trends (opens in new tab) come and go, but the traditional ones never go out of style. From Simon Says to a good ‘ol egg and spoon race, there’s plenty of games you can play at home as a family. It’s sure to tap into his competitive side and it’s a great way to get active.
4) Make some fathers day crafts
Homemade presents can’t be beaten so why not get crafty with the kids this year? Save yourself some pennies (and a trip to the shop) and let the kids channel their inner artist and create an easy keep-them-quiet Father’s Day card. The whole family — including Dad — can explore their creative sides with these fun family crafts.
5) Put on a puppet show
There’s nothing quite like a puppet theatre show to keep dad entertained. All you’ll need is: an old flat bed sheet or curtain, iron-on velcro, coloured felt, contrasting fabric (for the curtains), ribbon and some scissors. Take a look at our step-by-step guide on how to bring your puppet show to life (opens in new tab).
6) Have fun in the garden
During this period of lockdown, we’ve spent a fair amount of time in the garden enjoying the sun. Getting outside in the sunshine provides everyone in the family with endless health benefits. After some new ideas of how to while away the time? Why not plant sunflower seeds and watch them grow. You could even add a competitive spin to things and see who’s grows the quickest over the next few months. We have plenty of ideas for garden activities. (opens in new tab)
Or why not help Dad out and get weeding! It’s a great way to get back to nature and enjoy the great outdoors.
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