This past Sunday there was a nationwide confusion and a mini social media war as some people posted ‘Happy Father’s Day’ messages on their Facebook walls as a way of celebrating fatherhood. It would have been all and well since the authors meant well had it not been for the fact that the messages were actually premature by 7 days since Father’s Day is traditionally set to be commemorated on the third Sunday of June.
It must be noted though that Father’s Day is not a conventional holiday and in most organisations it will be business as usual. The only industry that cashes in on this day and may get busier than usual are the restaurants and hotels, as some people take their fathers out for a treat. There are usually father’s day specials in the form of special menus – tailored in such a way that will be enjoyed by fathers.
A brief note regarding the history of father’s day suggests that; “There are a range of events, which may have inspired the idea of Father’s Day. One of these was the start of the Mother’s Day tradition in the first decade of the 20th century. Another was a memorial service held in 1908 for a large group of men, many of them fathers, who were killed in a mining accident in Monongah, West Virginia in December 1907.
A woman called Sonora Smart Dodd was an influential figure in the establishment of Father’s Day. Her father raised six children by himself after the death of their mother. This was uncommon at that time, as many widowers placed their children in the care of others or quickly married again.
Sonora was inspired by the work of Anna Jarvis, who had pushed for Mother’s Day celebrations. Sonora felt that her father deserved recognition for what he had done. The first time Father’s Day was held in June was in 1910. Father’s Day was officially recognized as a holiday in 1972 by President Nixon.”
The date when Father’s Day is celebrated varies from country to country. It is celebrated in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States on the third Sunday of June. It is also observed in countries such as Argentina, Canada, France, Greece, India, Ireland, Mexico, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, and Venezuela. In Australia and New Zealand Father’s Day is on the first Sunday in September. In Thailand it is celebrated on December 5, which is the birthday of the country’s king. Brazilian dads are honoured on the second Sunday of August.
So dear Batswana gentlemen and fathers, your children and wives have not forgotten you since Botswana celebrates the special day on the third Sunday of June, so this coming Sunday Fathers will be treated like the kings they are.