Seeing as there is Mother's Day to honor the world's mothers, it's only fair that there should also be Father's Day—a day to honor the world's fathers. This was the exact reasoning that motivated Sonora Louise Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington to begin her campaign for a nationally recognized Father's Day.

The idea came to her in 1909 while listening to a sermon at her local church about Anna Jarvis's creation of Mother's Day. Dodd was greatly inspired by Jarvis's efforts to make Mother's Day a national holiday and completely understood Jarvis's devotion to her beloved parent. Dodd's own father, a Civil War veteran, was widowed when his wife died in childbirth. He had made countless sacrifices and shown unconditional love in raising her and her five siblings. Therefore, to commemorate her father, she convinced the Spokane Ministerial Association to support the idea of holding a special Father's Day celebration.

Although Dodd initially chose June 5, her father's birthday, for the celebration, she failed to provide event organizers enough time to make arrangements, and consequently the first Father's Day observance was postponed to June 19, 1910, the third Sunday of that month.

Since then, Father's Day has always fallen on the third Sunday in June in the United States. Many other countries now celebrate Father's Day, too, though not necessarily on the same date as in the United States. In Taiwan, for example, Father's Day is celebrated on August 8, as the date, when read aloud in Chinese, sounds like the word for "father."

Nowadays, Father's Day is celebrated much the same way as Mother's Day, by taking one's father out to dinner or sending greeting cards. Another practice that mimics the Mother's Day tradition is the wearing and giving of flowers. While the carnation is the flower for Mother's Day, roses are associated with Father's Day. People give or wear red roses if their fathers are alive, while white roses are worn to honor one's father who has passed away.

 

既然有母親節以感謝全天下的母親,總該也有父親節以表彰全天下的父親以示公平。這正是住在美國華盛頓州斯波坎的杜德夫人(索諾拉.露易絲.史馬特.杜德)的想法,她因此開啟爭取成立國定父親節的活動。

這個想法始於1909 年,杜德夫人在當地教會聽到一則講道,內容關於安娜.賈維斯女士所創立的母親節。杜德夫人深受賈維斯女士的啟發,她完全了解賈維斯女士推動母親節成為國定節日的努力,還有她對摯愛母親的全心奉獻。杜德夫人的父親是位美國內戰老兵,他因妻子難產去世而成為鰥夫,他在養育杜德夫人和她的其他五位手足時,做出無數的犧牲奉獻並展現出無私的愛。因此,為了紀念她的父親,她說服斯波坎牧者協會來支持她的想法,舉辦一場特別的父親節禮讚。

雖然杜德夫人原本選定在她父親的生日六月五日舉辦慶祝活動,她卻因沒給主辦單位足夠的活動籌辦時間,使得第一個父親節被延至1910 年六月19 日,是該月的第三個星期日。

從此之後,美國的父親節一直都定在六月的第三個星期日。現今也有許多其他的國家慶祝父親節,雖然日子不盡然跟美國相同,例如台灣的父親節是在八月八日慶祝,因為這個日期的中文讀音聽起來很像「爸爸」。

現在,慶祝父親節的方式跟母親節頗為相似,包括請父親吃頓晚餐或是贈送感恩卡片,另一項模仿母親節的傳統是配戴花朵或獻花。母親節的代表花是康乃馨,而父親節的代表花則是玫瑰。若一個人的父親仍然健在,會配戴或送紅玫瑰;而若父親已過世,則會配戴白玫瑰以表紀念。

 

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※本文節錄自《中西節慶文化英語(16K彩色+1MP3)

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