Father’s Day 2023: When is Father’s Day, what is the history behind it and why does the date change every year? Here is everything you need to know

Father’s Day honours the dads and father figures every year - here is everything you need to know.

The day is held on various dates all over the world and different regions celebrate it differently to celebrate fatherhood. It is recognised as a public holiday in Lithuania and some areas of Spain, however, it is not a holiday in the UK.

When is Father’s Day 2023?

A Home Depot customer walks by a display of Father’s Day gift cards. (Pic credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)A Home Depot customer walks by a display of Father’s Day gift cards. (Pic credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)
A Home Depot customer walks by a display of Father’s Day gift cards. (Pic credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

Each year Father’s Day falls on the third Sunday of June in the UK, therefore the dates vary each year.

This year it takes place on June 18.

What is the history behind Father’s Day?

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For hundreds of years the Eastern Orthodox Church has designated the second Sunday before Nativity as the Sunday of the Forefathers to honour the ancestors of Christ.

It is thought that Father’s Day may have originated from pagan sun worship; some branches of paganism see the Sun as the father of the universe. The link comes from the fact that the summer solstice occurs around the same time of year as Father’s Day.

The idea of honouring fathers, father figures and celebrating fatherhood was first introduced in the US when a woman called Sonora Smart Dodd was inspired by the American Mother’s Day celebrations.

A customary day for celebrating Father’s Day in Catholic Europe is known to date back to at least 1508 and is usually held on March 19 as the feast day of Saint Joseph, who is referred to as the fatherly Nutritor Domini (‘Nourisher of the Lord’) in Catholicism and ‘the putative father of Jesus’ in southern European tradition.

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