Father’s Day in Australia is celebrated on the first Sunday of September, unlike in the US and UK where it is celebrated on the third Sunday of June.
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Gifts of chocolate, socks and other practical gifts or extravagances are commonly given to Dads on Father’s Day. Shouting Dad to a meal out or preparing a meal at home are also common activities on this day.
In many ways, Father’s Day is an American holiday that was first conceived and popularised there during the early twentieth century.
The cynical view of this holiday is that it was promoted in the US for purely commercial reasons along with the modern Mother’s Day which was also being popularised around the same time. It’s easy to have this impression when visiting any shopping centre or grocery store across Australia around this time of year.
However, Father’s Day and Mother’s Day also became socially and commercially successful because they were inherently positive and sensible observances at a time when nuclear families were the norm, and when governments and community leaders in places like the US, UK and Australia were looking for opportunities to encourage wholesome cultural and moral development amongst their populations.
Today, Father’s Day is significantly a consumption-based observance but also a celebration that many families take seriously as an opportunity to let dads know that they are loved and valued.