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Father's Day in Australia

Many Australians observe Father’s Day on the first Sunday of September. It is a day for people to show their appreciation for fathers and father figures. Father figures may include stepfathers, fathers-in-law, guardians (eg. foster parents), and family friends.

Is Father's Day a Public Holiday?

Father's Day is not a public holiday. It falls on Sunday, September 1, 2019 and most businesses follow regular Sunday opening hours in Australia.

Many Australians celebrate Father's Day on the first Sunday of September.

©iStockphoto.com/aldomurillo

What Do People Do?

Many Australians celebrate Father’s Day by showing their appreciation for their fathers or father figures. Acts of appreciation are done in different ways and may include (but are not limited to):

  • A day out in the park, at the movies, at a zoo, or another place of interest.
  • Handmade or purchased cards.
  • Presents such as food baskets, chocolates, clothing, equipment for hobbies, or gift vouchers.
  • Breakfasts, brunches, lunches, or dinners either at home, at a restaurant, or at a café.
  • Father’s Day charity activities, such as fun runs or purchasing special gifts, to raise money for causes such as services for the visually impaired  or research on prostate cancer.
  • Some families may prefer to visit places of worship together, like churches, synagogues or mosques.

Some fathers and father figures receive adventures or experiences as Father’s Day gifts. They may include a quad bike adventure, swimming with whale sharks, or abseiling. Some magazines and newspapers choose this time of the year to publish positive Father’s Day stories that focus on the challenges that some men faced and achievements that they made to provide the best for children in Australia. Many of these articles are published both in print and online. Television and radio programs may also have Father’s Day specials during this period.

Public Life

Father’s Day is not a public holiday in Australia. It falls on a Sunday, which is a day off for many workers so many offices and stores are closed. However, some shopping precincts and stores, as well as restaurants, cafes and entertainment venues, may be busy on Father’s Day, especially in areas where Sunday trading is allowed.

Background

There are some suggestions that the idea of Father's Day may originate in pagan sun worship. Some branches of paganism see the Sun as the father of the universe. Father’s Day in Australia occurs on the first Sunday of September. Father’s Day in some countries is on the third Sunday of June, which is close to the June solstice.

The idea of a special day to honor fathers and celebrate fatherhood was introduced from the United States. A woman called Sonora Smart Dodd was inspired by the American Mother's Day celebrations and planned a day to honor fathers early in the 20th century. The first Father's Day was celebrated in Spokane, Washington on June 19, 1910. Father’s Day has become increasingly popular throughout North America and other parts of the world over the years. Mother’s Day is also celebrated Australia on an annual basis.

Symbols

Images of fathers or father figures, and the words “Happy Father’s Day” are often seen on marketing material, such as posters, postcards, and advertisements, to promote Father’s Day.

About Father's Day in other countries

Read more about Father's Day.

Father's Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2010SunSep 5Father's DayObservance 
2011SunSep 4Father's DayObservance 
2012SunSep 2Father's DayObservance 
2013SunSep 1Father's DayObservance 
2014SunSep 7Father's DayObservance 
2015SunSep 6Father's DayObservance 
2016SunSep 4Father's DayObservance 
2017SunSep 3Father's DayObservance 
2018SunSep 2Father's DayObservance 
2019SunSep 1Father's DayObservance 
2020SunSep 6Father's DayObservance 

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