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Father’s Day traditions from around the world

A pair of socks and a lovely lunch are typical Father’s Day gifts in the UK. Further afield, however, the go-to treats and traditions are a little different. Here are our favourite Father’s Day customs from around the world…

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Running a race in Mexico

In many countries, Father’s Day is the one day of the year when dads can put their feet up and be spoiled by their loved ones. This is far from the case in Mexico City, where it’s traditional for many fathers to run in a 21k race! Luckily, there is usually food and music to celebrate afterwards.

Man days out in Germany

While we’re used to Father’s Day being a day where families get together in the UK, in Germany it’s a day when men go out for some male bonding. This often includes physical activity such as hiking or biking, followed by beer drinking. Oh, and the fathers often dress up in garish or mismatched outfits too!

Coffee and cake in Finland

On Father’s Day in Finland, children make a point of letting their dads sleep in and then treat them to their favourite breakfast. However, the Father’s Day celebrations extend beyond the home too. On the Friday before each Father’s Day, many schools put on coffee and cake in honour of all the dads as well. This sounds like a tradition we’d like to adopt!

Lighters in France

Father’s Day in France actually didn’t exist until an advertising campaign for a cigarette lighter brand called Flaminaire was launched. The brand ran advertising in 1950 saying all fathers want a Flaminaire lighter for Father’s Day, which should be on the third Sunday of June. Two years later, Father’s Day in France was made official! Nowadays, French children tend to give their fathers drawings or small gifts instead of lighters.

Donkey racing in Italy

Father’s Day in Italy is celebrated on 19th March each year, which is St Joseph’s Day. It’s a day of food and street parades across much of the country. However, some smaller towns have the more unique tradition of hosting donkey races, symbolising Joseph taking Mary to Bethlehem on a donkey.

Plastic skeletons in Uruguay

Father’s Day celebrations in the South American country of Uruguay take on an altogether spookier twist. Families honour their fathers by hanging a plastic skeleton outside their doors. It may sound a little sinister, but this ritual actually represents a folkloric father figure called Padre Esqueleto – ‘Father Skeleton’.

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