Friday, May 30, 2008

To Fathers With Love

by Lisa Smith

In June of each year, we celebrate the wonderful Fathers and father figures in our lives! The modern celebration of Father’s Day has ancient roots, dating all the way back to the Babylonian period of history.

The earliest record of Father's Day was found in the ruins of ancient Babylon. A young boy named Elmesu carved a Father's Day message on a card made out of clay nearly 4,000 years ago. He wished his Babylonian father good health and a long life. The tradition was passed down from generation to generation and is currently celebrated in several countries throughout the world. In many countries, where the Catholic Church has had an important influence on the culture, Father's Day is celebrated on St. Joseph's Day (March 19) but in others, the date varies with the calendar year.

In the United States, we typically purchase greeting cards or small gifts for our fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, etc. In other countries around the globe, they have unique and different ways to celebrate the Father’s Day tradition.

1. The UK and Australia: Breakfast meetings for fathers and families are held along with public games and activities that strengthen the father-family bond. These events include picnics with sports or games, fishing contests and hiking or running races.

2. Canada: Different colored roses are worn by families signifying the well-being of their fathers. A white Rose is worn if the father has passed away and a red Rose signifies father or grandfather in good health and vitality.

3. South Africa: Social and cultural societies host large community Father’s Day celebrations to stress the role of fathers in building a stronger society and in nurturing their children. They read stories and poems that have strong male characters.

4. Ireland: Families make donations in the name of their father or perform acts of community service that pay tribute to the important men in their lives.

This year in June, we can all look into some different ways to express thanks and gratitude for the fathers and father-figures in our lives. Whether we spend time strengthening our relationship by participating in an outdoor activity, performing some community service together or just sitting down to a meal together, we can all look to different cultures around the world to see that celebrating fathers is not just something we do here at home. It is an ancient and wonderful tradition that can be expanded upon to create some wonderful new memories and traditions of our own.

Lisa Smith has a BA in Psychology & is the Owner/CEO of Regionz Kidz, a multi-cultural infant & toddler clothing line featuring ethnically diverse characters and designs. She publishes a blog on her website that discusses cultural diversity & children & is a frequent guest blogger on other blogs and websites regarding parenting and children’s issues. You can contact Lisa directly at:

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