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Father’s Day: understand the origin of the date in Brazil and in the world

The second Sunday of August is the date set aside in Brazil to honor parents. Here, Father’s Day was instituted by publicist Sylvio Bhering in 1953, at the time director of the newspaper The globe and gives Radio Globoas recorded on the communication company’s memory site.

Initially, the date chosen was August 16, when the Catholic Church celebrated Saint Joaquim, father of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The day dedicated to the saint changed, but the eighth month of the year was a success among merchants who gained a period to heat up sales.

“Mother’s Day already existed, so the idea was: why not have a Father’s Day as well? And, here in Brazil, more openly, it emerged as a marketing idea, even advertising. So a lot of dictation even to move commerce”, explained Sérgio Dantas, Marketing professor at Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie.

The date was consecrated in August and on Sunday, traditionally a day of family gatherings. São Joaquim began to be celebrated on July 26, together with Sant’Ana, mother of Maria, which became Grandparents’ Day.

Dantas, however, indicates another probable reason for the maintenance of the tribute in August. “I believe it was strategically chosen because the trade has important dates. We end the year with Christmas, which is the big date. Then, in the first semester, Mother’s Day, which is the second biggest movement date. Soon after, in June, there’s Valentine’s Day. And then only Children’s Day, in October. I think the idea was to try and space that out throughout the year,” he points out. Among these dates, Father’s Day was the last to be defined.

Other countries

The specifics of the date chosen for Brazil make the country one of the few to honor parents in August. The most widespread date in the world, recognized in at least 70 countries, is the third Sunday in June, a story that begins in the United States.

Sonora Luise Smart, the daughter of a farmer who fought in the Civil War in 1862, wanted to honor her father, William Jackson, who raised his children alone after his wife’s death.

The date chosen for the first celebration, which took place in 1910, was June 19, the birthday of Sonora’s father. The idea spread and was made official in 1966 by President Lyndon Johnson as the third Sunday in June.

“It was standardized to be on the third Sunday, which was even an easier day for families to be together and to experience the purpose of Father’s Day, which is precisely this union, communion. As the United States is a country that dictates trends, many countries ended up following their determination”, points out Dantas.

There are also countries that celebrate the date on March 19, Saint Joseph’s Day, such as Portugal, Spain, Italy, Andorra, Bolivia and Honduras.

Translated to english by RJ983

From Brazil, by EBC News




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